Inside the Capitol

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

GOP expected to field full slate of candidates

53113 GOP candidates

SANTA FE – Recently we talked about negative GOP campaigning directed against two Democrats, one not even an announced candidate yet.
We also mentioned that the announced Democratic candidate, Hector Balderas for attorney general, doesn't even have a Republican opponent yet. It is a woeful commentary on the American political system that negative campaigning now starts first.
Sometimes the GOP isn't able to fill out a slate for statewide offices. This year, I'm guessing it will. With all the money that is being made available by court decisions, it is enough to attract candidates into every race.
So the movement to find some GOP candidates is beginning to take shape. Much of this information comes from a Joe Monahan blog of two weeks ago.
The only definite Republican candidates for next year's elections appear to be the incumbents: Rep Steve Pearce in the 2nd Congressional District; Gov. Susana Martinez; Lt. Gov. John Sanchez and Secretary of State Dianna Duran.
Very likely the GOP will field a candidate in the 3rd Congressional District but with little to no hope of winning. Likewise, Democrats will field a candidate against Rep. Pearce with slim hopes, although Democrats are on the increase in that district.
Excitement could break out in the lieutenant governor's race. John Sanchez has never been in the Martinez camp of the Republican Party. Past governors and lieutenant governors seldom have fared well. Full time lieutenant governors really just get in the way. The position never was meant to be full time.
But Sanchez is making the most of what he has to deal with, traveling the state as an unofficial ombudsman, while forging political alliances everywhere.
There has been talk of the governor cutting him lose and backing another candidate in next year's primary. Back in 1994, Diane Denish talked of taking on Lt. Gov. Casey Luna, who had been giving Gov. Bruce King much grief. Luna turned the tables by running against King in the primary and perhaps ruining King's chances for another term.
Too many minefields are in the path of switching lieutenant governors. Besides, as we've said, they just get in the way.
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall will draw opposition, maybe Allan Weh? He has been very active since his 2010 GOP primary loss to Susana Martinez. Udall has been hard to beat so there may not be many seeking to knock him off.

The GOP will put up a good battle for the 1st congressional district slot won by Michelle Lujan Grisham last November. Republicans have held the seat much longer than Democrats. So far Simon Kubiac, an Albuquerque businessman is the only name we have heard mentioned.
Republicans always make a strong bid for attorney general. Clovis District Attorney Matt Chandler made a good bid in 2010 and is expected to get back into the race this time. He is close to Susana Martinez and may see significant backing from her.
The state treasurer's office seems to be an enticing position for Democrats this year. On the Republican side, state Taxation and Revenue director Demesia Padilla is getting the most mention. She ran for the office before. She could be stronger this time because of support of Gov. Martinez.
If Padilla were to win, she would be the third statewide office holder who is female, Hispanic and Republican. Secretary of State Dianna also is in the group. U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham is a Democrat but she also adds to the female Hispanic power in the state.
The state Land Office is very important to ranchers and oil and gas interests. Democrat incumbent Ray Powell has won three non-consecutive terms and always is a strong vote gatherer but Republicans have often won the seat and will have big financial backing in this election.
The GOP is looking at current Public Regulation Commissioner Patrick Lyons return to the Land Office spot he has held twice before. House Republican Whip Nate Gentry also is a possibility.


Post a Comment

<< Home