NM-01: Domenici Retirement Fallout
by fbihop, Mon Oct 08, 2007 at 07:11:22 PM EDT
With Pete Domenici's retirement, there has been a domino effect in New Mexico's political landscape.
A quick recap: One of the members of the House (Heather Wilson) is running for Senate. Another is considering a run for the Senate (Steve Pearce). The news that the third (Tom Udall) wouldn't run was nearly front page news. One Democratic gubernatorial candidate pulled out of the race for Governor to run for Senate (Martin Chavez), a second may soon follow (Diane Denish) and the current governor, also a Presidential candidate (Bill Richardson), may run as well.
Yesterday, I discussed who is in and out of the race for Domenici's seat in New Mexico. Today, I will discuss the First Congressional District and how the race is looking at this early juncture.
Tomorrow, I will discuss how the race will affect the Second Congressional District (currently held by Steve Pearce). Crossposted at New Mexico FBIHOP
The incumbent, George Bush Republican Heather Wilson, is running for Senate. That leaves an open seat in a district that leans Democratic; Wilson, a popular Republican, barely won the district by less than 1000 votes in the last election.
So now who is going to run for the seat? Albuquerque City Councilor Martin Heinrich is already in the race for the Democratic nomination. So is the lower-profile candidate lawyer Jon Adams. Of the two, Heinrich would be the clear favorite -- Heinrich has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, including more than $70,000 via ActBlue. Adams has raised $5,100 through his ActBlue page.
Those are the two candidates who are in -- what about those who might enter? The biggest names who might jump in seem to be Republican Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White and Democratic State Representative Al Park.
Park's name was put out there as a potential candidate before Heinrich announced his name. While some felt a large Democratic primary would hur thtem against Wilson, when it is an open seat... anything could happen.
Currently, White is heading up the Rudy Giuliani New Mexico campaign. While Giuliani is a front-runner in the national scene, he is also despised by conservatives for his stances on gay rights and abortion. Not helpful in a primary battle. A battle against, say, a Republican state Representative?
Janice Arnold-Jones is considering a run at the open seat. It seems she will run a more grassroots campaign than White, who is courting the Republican National Congressional Committee:
Arnold-Jones said she will be on the phone this week to determine how much cash she can raise, but she doesn't think money is the only factor in building support for a run. In the mostly metropolitan First Congressional District, door-to-door campaigning is much more doable than it is in the state's other congressional districts.Arnold-Jones is already downplaying expectations of how much money she will raise compared to White, before she even announces if she will run.
As of now, general election looks as if it will be Martin Heinrich against Darren White. But a lot can change between now and the primaries.