Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pete Jr. Takes the Plunge

I wasn't able to get down to Albuquerque for the announcement, but according to my Twitter buddy, reporter Peter St. Cyr, Domenici indeed announced that he'll be the fifth Republican candidate for governor of New Mexico.

Domenici is an Albuquerque lawyer. He's the son of longtime U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, who retired at the end of 2008.

He joins Janice Arnold-Jones, Susana Martinez, Doug Turner and Allen Weh in the GOP primary. Lt. Gov. Diane Denish has a clear field on the Democratic side.

All those but Martinez are from Albuquerque. Could that geographical tidbit play into the primary race?

Will update as information comes in.

UPDATE: Doug Turner was the first gubernatorial candidate to react to Domenici's entry:

“There are so many good Republicans running because New Mexicans are desperate for a change from the policies and corruption they have endured for far too long," he said in a written statement. "...This is going to be an exciting year for Republicans and I look forward to the debate and presenting my vision for New Mexico’s future and becoming our party’s nominee for Governor.”

UPDATE 2: More reaction to the announcement.

GOP rival Allen Weh had this to say: "“This election for Governor isn’t about political connections or surname; it’s about who has the experience to create jobs and get New Mexico back on the right track — I believe I have that experience, and the ability to lead this state forward. I look forward to the debate."

And state Democratic Chairman Javier Gonzales released a statement saying, "“Since Republicans insiders have been unable to find a candidate for Governor with an actual record of fighting for New Mexico families, they’re settling for the biggest name they could find. The people of New Mexico won’t be fooled. It’s common for voters to ask candidates for office ‘what have you done for me lately?’ In this case, they’ll be asking ‘what have you done for me ever?’”

Gonzales also said while Domenici calls himself an environmental lawyer, he represents "special interests who pollute New Mexico."

Looks like the debate's already started.