Inside the Capitol

Monday, May 25, 2009

Fw: 5-22 More Races Filling Up

FRI, 5-22-09

SANTA FE - A recent report speculated that actor Val Kilmer is cooling on the idea of running for governor of New Mexico. But on its heels came more reports that that Kilmer is still talking excitedly about the prospect to friends and political consultants.
And get this, some of those friends think it's such a great idea that they are now making plans to run for governor of California. Evidently American voters are such celebrity lovers that actors are beginning to see themselves as well qualified to lead a state or nation.
While doing a little more research on Kilmer, I discovered he not only is a poet, he's also an accomplished singer and songwriter and much of his work is available on CD and DVD.
Before U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici's unexpected retirement from Congress, it appeared that state Land Commissioner Patrick Lyons might be the logical GOP candidate for governor since he was the party's only possible candidate with successful statewide election experience.
But now that Steve Pearce and Heather Wilson are in the picture, blogger Joe Monahan reports Lyons is looking at the Southern New Mexico slot on the Public Regulation Commission that Republican David King is term-limited from seeking again next year.
We haven't heard what Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White will be running for next year but anyone looking for a bet that he won't run for anything is not likely to find any takers.
White lost a congressional bid last November to Democrat Martin Heinrich but it was a bad year for Republicans and White has the political bug. He'll run for something. Meanwhile, White is starting a Saturday afternoon radio show on conservative talk radio KKOB-AM just to be sure no one forgets about him.
Another sure bet is that the GOP primary will be hotly contested. I've already made my prediction that former U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce will run for his former House seat, although he'd still like to be governor. I'm betting Heather Wilson gets in that race.
Gen. Greg Zanetti already is in and working hard. And now we hear that Doug Turner, a former campaign manager for Gov. Gary Johnson, may jump in the race as another new face of the Republican Party.
New blood in the Republican Party may be just what the Grand Old Party needs to change an image that hasn't been working too well for it except in the Deep South. Some more new GOP blood has surfaced in the person of Bob Cornelius, of Lea County, who was briefly in the 2nd Congressional District race last year.
Cornelius says he'll run for either the southern district post on the Public Regulation Commission, which would pit him against Land Commissioner Pat Lyons or for Lyon's current position as land commissioner.
New names in the already crowded Democratic Party primary for lieutenant governor are Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Rep. Pete Campos and state Democratic Party Chairman Brian Colon.
Sen, Ortiz y Pino is a member of the New Democrats who have been able to successfully rebrand themselves as progressives instead of liberals. It seems to be working for them, so far. Maybe the GOP can pick up a few pointers.
If the Democratic far left can rebrand and succeed, maybe the GOP far right at the national level can too. Right now, it appears they've chosen a subject - secession. Several states, led by Texas, are considering secession as their answer to the way America has been headed the past four months.
That sounds pretty far out to those of us who remember the past effort of some states to do that. But the practice isn't too unusual in countries less stable than ours.
In Barcelona, Spain, 18 months ago Jeanette and I witnessed and even unwittingly participated in a Sunday separatist parade and rally that looked like a lot of fun until posters of the king and Queen were set on fire and the paddy wagons arrived.

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