Democrats gathered in Albuquerque Saturday to choose their chairman for the coming two years, but they couldn’t resist the temptation to do a little rallying while they were there.
Here’s a few details from the numerous speeches that accompanied the voting:
- Attorney General Gary King promised the crowd that he would stay put as attorney general and avoid running for Senate, but not because he wasn’t interested.
“If I ran for the Senate and won, I would allow Susana Martinez to appoint the next attorney general. I’m not going to let that happen,” King said.
- Former Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chávez was a terrible tease in his speech, which was delivered during the time frame allotted for possible U.S. House candidates. Chávez, who has spent much of his time in Washington D.C. since losing the 2009 mayoral election, echoed King’s statement that he wasn’t running for office, waited a few beats, then added a “yet.”
- The Senate candidates — Rep. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., State Auditor Hector Balderas and Democratic activist Andres Valdez all had a chance to speak. Both Heinrich and Balderas, considered the frontrunners, predicted a civilized primary campaign.
Heinrich said it would be a “respectful” race, while Balderas said it would be “classy.” Valdez compared and contrasted himself with the other two candidates and said while he likes them, they were mere “pups” compared to his life experiences.
- Sen. Eric Griego, D-Albuquerque, who announced his intent to seek the Democratic nomination for Congress on Saturday, addressed concerns that he is too liberal to win the traditionally moderate, Albuquerque-based 1st Congressional District during his speech.
“Anyone who says a Democrat from the Democratic wing of the party can’t get elected to the the (1st District), I have two words for you: Martin Heinrich,” Griego said.
The Democratic wing reference is common among progressives, and often used pejoratively to alienate moderate Democrats.
Heinrich may have something to say about that comment, as he has taken a moderate posture for his upcoming statewide Senate race.