Thursday, October 13, 2005


Joe Monahan quotes some alligators today saying that Attorney General Patricia Madrid is once again a likely contender to run against incumbent Republican Rep. Heather Wilson for Congress.

This goes along with a story this week in Roll Call, a Washington D.C. paper specializing in coverage of the U.S. Congress, by Josh Kurtz, a Santa Fe Reporter alumn who is now Roll Call's political editor.

Unfortunately you need a subscription to read the whole story.

But here's how it starts out:

"If Democrats fall short in their efforts to recruit New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid into the race against Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.) next year, they may have to blame their failure on the political trajectory of the state's governor, Bill Richardson (D).

"In the Land of Enchantment, most Democrats are convinced that if a Democrat retakes the White House in 2008, Richardson will either be the next president, vice president or secretary of state.

"So the question of who serves as his lieutenant governor has become a topic of intense discussion -- something that may explain why Madrid is contemplating running for that post in 2006 instead of for Congress, even though there already is a Democratic incumbent in the No. 2 slot.

"Nevertheless, Democrats in Washington, D.C., are becoming increasingly optimistic that the heavily recruited Madrid ultimately will choose to challenge Wilson. And a key Madrid political lieutenant hints that an announcement could come as soon as this week."
I can't vouch for Josh's claim that most Democrats here think Richardson will be on the national ticket or get a cabinet position in 2008. (Remember, the Democrats have to win for the latter to come true.) But I do think most everybody here believes Richardson will try.

Here's another notable section:

Madrid ... has prided herself on her independence from Richardson, and is the rare Democrat in New Mexico who has not shown complete fealty to the powerful governor. Madrid, in fact, is close to a potential rival to Richardson in the next presidential race, former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), though that is just one source of the tension between her and the governor.

Richardson has been mum on the prospects of a bloody primary fight between Madrid and Denish. But his formidable political team is likely to aid Madrid if she challenges Wilson - in part for the political bounce Richardson would get if he helped knock off a perennial (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) target.

Of course Richardson's formidable political team wasn't enough to carry New Mexico for John Kerry last year ...

The story even mentions the Vigil/Montoya scandal and how it might affect a madrid campaign:

"... Republicans in New Mexico, who are unlikely to find viable challengers to Richardson or Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) next year, now have one new factor going for them: the twin indictments late last month of the current Democratic state treasurer and his predecessor for allegedly taking kickbacks from investment firms seeking to do business with the state. ...

"Roxanne Rivera, a spokeswoman for the New Mexico GOP, said Republicans cannot believe that Madrid did not know about the corruption in the treasurer's office. She predicted that voters would punish Democrats up and down the ballot in 2006.

"This scandal is more far-reaching than anyone realizes," she said.

"But a top Democratic strategist in New Mexico said the party has a ready response for anyone who attempts to tie Vigil's woes to other leading Democrats.

"At the same time you have Vigil, you have Tom DeLay," the strategist said ..."

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