Friday, July 17, 2009

Zanetti Ditches Guv Race

Greg Zanetti Greg Zanetti, the first Republican to start campaigning for the 2010 gubernatorial primary on Friday became the first to drop out.

In a statement emailed to reporters, Zanetti, who recently returned from a year of serving as deputy commander at the U.S. Naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba., said:

“Last year I was deployed with the 75 New Mexico National Guardsmen to Guantanamo Bay. This deployment, as all Guard deployments, was more difficult for families than for the Guard members themselves.

“I returned to New Mexico and immediately began exploring a run for governor. I traveled our state for the past six months, visiting all four corners and many communities. I met hundreds of New Mexicans and was greeted warmly. These travels only increased my love of New Mexico and my fellow citizens.

“But to myself and to my family these travels seemed like another deployment. I missed a number of important family events. I have concluded that another year away from my family is just not acceptable, so today I notified GOP Chairman Harvey Yates and other potential Republican candidates that I will not seek our party’s nomination."

Zanetti was considered a longshot for the nomination. He's a former Bernalillo Country GOP chairman. His only other race for public office was an unsuccessful bid for lieutenant governor in 1994, losing to Walter Bradley, who went on to win on a ticket with Gary Johnson. Zanetti works as a financial adviser..

Other Republican candidates include former state GOP Chairman Allen Weh, who actively is campaigning. Las Cruces District Attorney Susana Martinez was expected to announce her candidacy today. State Rep. Janice-Arnold Jones has formed an exploratory committee and former Gov. Johnson's campaign manager Doug Turner, who owns an Albuquerque public relations firm, has said he's seriously interested.

Former U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson also has said she's considering a run for governor.

On the Democratic side, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish is the only announced candidate.