The race to run against Wilson is heating up

Posted 4/11/2007 08:02:00 AM

The race to be the Democrat challenging U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., in 2008 has really heated up in the last few days. Following news that New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Rick Homans and Albuquerque City Councilor Martin Heinrich might both jump into the race, I was contacted by a third potential candidate on Tuesday.

Terry Brunner has been mentioned as a possible candidate in the past, but he wanted me to know he is meeting with officials from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today and also talking with veteran pollsters about the race.

Brunner is state director for the office of U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., and ran Bingaman’s re-election campaign last year.

“I’m still considering it,” Brunner told me, adding that his job has provided him the opportunity to work on many of the same issues he would handle as a congressman.

He’s 36 and has two young children, which puts him in a similar situation as that of the 35-year-old Heinrich – deciding whether he can give this race what it will take to win with a young family to consider.

With is experience, Brunner is well aware of what it will take. He also knows how to run a serious campaign.

Other potential candidates

Officials from the DCCC will likely meet with Homans and Heinrich while they’re here and, a source reports, Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg, who the source says isn’t that interested in the race.

Missing from the list of most-frequently mentioned candidates is any Hispanic Democrat, but former Albuquerque City Councilor Eric Griego is one whose name has been tossed around. If a number of Anglos get into the race, he might be able to squeak by them in a primary.

Also mentioned as a possible candidate is Rep. Al Park, D-Albuquerque, but he was named chair of the powerful Judiciary Committee this year and might be hesitant to make a change so quickly.

A prior version of this posting had an incorrect quote attributed to Brunner.

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At 8:41 AM, April 11, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric Griego's name doesn't get mentioned for several reasons: 1. HE is not liked by Westside Democrats... as a city councilor he proposed that we PAY TOLLS to go/come from work! 2. He has no real support, only counting on those in the far left liberal wing of the Dem party... he was crushed in the Mayoral race. 3. He is not a fundraising candidate. He had troubles reporting during his Mayoral campaign and he is the sponsor of such tax schemes that make it to where the average taxpayer pays for his pathetic campaigns and disguising these schemes under titles like "Clean Campaign Act" or whatever. 4. We are absolutely tired of the negative campaigning. We were bombarded for the last 4 races in CD1 with NEGATIVE campaigning. Eric Griego is the king of negative campaigns! He and Soltari Inc. do not know how to campaign on the issues and candidates accomplishments. They only know the campaign tactics of Karl Rove!

I also woke up this morning to read on other blogs a ton of anti-Richardson rhetoric (comments in DFNM). Where did this come from? Just last campaign season the far left loved him. Oh, that's right the Guv showed his true colors after he became the Prez and didn't stick around to fight for the "progressive" agenda in the special session. YOU were warned about his intentions! Wake up folks... don't continue to be used!

At 9:10 AM, April 11, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live here in Clovis and I have met Eric Griego, he seems like a high energy person that has a great grasp of the issues that face all New Mexicans. He would be a great person to face Heather Wilson, he has deep NM roots and he is a AHS Grad no other person mention can tout that.


At 9:28 AM, April 11, 2007, Anonymous Matt Brix said...

It's unfortunate that an important and forward-thinking policy like public financing of campaigns gets smeared as a "tax scheme" by an anonymous comment. Let's review the facts. The legislature passed public financing for PRC races in 2003. Almost 70% of Albuquerque voters approved public financing for mayoral and council races in the 2005 City election. This overwhelming approval included high margins of support in every single consolidated precinct throughout the City. Finally, the legislature just approved extending the state's public financing system to judicial appellate court races.

Public financing of campaigns is not a tax scheme. Indeed, it is a policy that has a proven track record of attracting widespread support among voters and public officials alike. Mr. Griego's support for this issue hardly places him on the fringes of the poitical spectrum.

At 11:41 AM, April 16, 2007, Blogger Michael said...

For the record, Griego got over 40 percent of the Democratic vote in the mayor's race despite being outspent 4-1 by Chavez. He carried 3 of 4 Democratic council districts. He raised almost $300,000 for the race, about how much a Democratic primary would cost in CD1. He has been a leader on ethics reform, taking on ABQPAC, creating a city office of Inspector General, and making Albuquerque one of only two cities with publicly financed local elections. He is a native with a great resume and the only candidate to actually work on foreign policy issues. If he decides to run, I will strongly support him.


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