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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Campaign Trail Dust: Not So Fast On GOP Lt. Gov. Nod; Race Developing, Latest Perceptions On Dem Guv Chase And Our Continuing Crime Wave Coverage 

Sen. Mark Moores
Hold on Kelly Zunie. Even if Rep. Steve Pearce, the presumptive '18 GOP gubernatorial nominee, appears to be in your corner as you announce your candidacy for the 2018 lieutenant governor nomination Thursday, there is trouble brewing for you behind the scenes.

Republican insiders say Zunie will not be crowned in a solo race and that a handful of other Rs are mulling over a bid. They include ABQ State Senator Mark Moores, Roswell area State Senator Cliff Pirtle and former State Senator Ted Barela of Estancia.

A GOP alligator familiar with the positioning of that trio is hopeful only one of them will take the dive, improving the chances of keeping Zunie at bay. She would be the first Native American to capture the GOP lieutenant governor nomination.

So enjoy your party today, Kelly, but watch your back. The long knives are being sharpened. . .

As for John Sanchez, the current GOP lieutenant governor, he is still on the fence when it comes to his political future. A run for Governor became impossible when Gov. Martinez's popularity plummeted and a run for the ABQ congressional seat looks doubtful as the district being vacated by Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham is seen as solidly blue. That would leave a tough battle for the US Senate against Dem Martin Heinrich in an election cycle that is not favoring the R's. A source close to the Lt. Governor says: "You'll be hearing from him on his decision sooner rather than later."

Well, right now what Republicans are hearing from Raton to Roswell is the loud sound of John gnashing his teeth. . .

We mentioned a social media video on education that Dem Guv candidate Jeff Apodaca has produced but in doing so we made it seem as though the video noted his support for a constitutional amendment that would support very early childhood programs by allowing funding for them from the $16 billion Land Grant Permanent School Fund. The video does not mention the amendment, but Apodaca is on the record as supporting the amendment.

Apodaca has made at least a slight dent in the perception that the Dem gubernatorial nomination is a foregone conclusion, with Rep. Lujan Grisham the obvious pick. That's due in part to the news broken here--and confirmed by Apodaca--that he has raised in the vicinity of $700,000 in the early going. That's not pocket change and combined with an aggressive early start it is keeping the Guv door open for him. State Senator Joe Cervantes is also in the race. His friends say he is willing to put $1 million of personal funds into the contest. If so, like Apodaca, he will have at least a foot in the door.

WHERE ARE THEY?

Who are the Republican candidates for attorney general, state auditor, secretary of state and state treasurer? None, so far. And that means some work ahead for GOP Chairman Ryan Cangiolosi.

NEW MEXIODUS

Longtime NM radio personality Larry Ahrens writes on our Facebook page about the city's crime crisis:

Joe, you mentioned that "everyone who wanted to move has left already." Anecdotal info here. But the conversations I'm having with many people indicate there may be another wave of folks preparing to depart NM for greener and safer pastures elsewhere. The rampant crime is driving this. Decisions are being made right now to get out. The exodus is far from over in my opinion.

THAT'S ALL?

Over in Dallas, they are bemoaning the increase in payouts for lawsuits involving their police department.

Records show that Dallas has spent almost $11 million in the past five years settling more than 20 lawsuits against police, a huge increase compared to the previous five years. The city spent less than $400,000 to settle less than 10 cases from 2006 to 2011, KDFW-TV reported . Dallas also currently has almost 40 unresolved liability claims against local police officers.

Heck, they don't know how good they have it. ABQ has paid out a startling $62 million in lawsuit payments over APD since 2010. When New Mexico does anything bigger than Texas, that's a problem.

FREE DINNER, PLEASE

And the mayoral forums continue to flow in. Readers have the info:

Thursday, August 17, 5:00 – 8:00 PM Fatpipe Mayoral Forum. Fatpipe ABQ Coworking Space, 200 Broadway Blvd NE. . . 

Joe, this one is sponsored by the local chapter of NAWBO, National Association of Women Business Owners. It happens Wednesday, August 16, 5:30 PM to 8 PM at Tanoan Country Club. It is a dinner and attendees have to buy a ticket.

You mean we have to buy a dinner ticket to see the wannabe mayors? How about we get contender Brian Colón to pick up the tab for all of us? He just reported he has $535,000 in cash on hand for the final six weeks of the campaign. Surely he could afford a few taco plates for the crowd wanting in? Oops, the event is at Tanoan. Okay, Brian, make that rib-eyes.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2017
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