Monday, January 4, 2010

Solano Drops out of Lt. Gov Race

Sheriff Greg Solano, who has been running for lieutenant governor since the summer of 2007, has dropped out of the Democratic primary.

True to his character, the "blogging sheriff" laid out all his reasons in a lengthy blog post this weekend. And it's an interesting story.

Solano talks about the difficulty he had getting a meeting with the presumptive Democratic gubernatorial nominee.
I had reached out to Lieutenant Governor Denish in the weeks prior to my announcing my run for Lieutenant Governor and we were not able to meet. In early 2008 I made more attempts to meet with her and we had sill not been able to meet. This was the first of many roadblocks I began to encounter.
(It's not clear from the blog whether such a meeting ever did take place. He still praises Denish saying he thinks she "is in touch with the plight of middle income residents of New Mexico and will represent them well.")

Solano also talks about the frustrations of being an outsider candidate (as he puts it, lacking "strong connections to statewide politics" ) and trying to raise money.
The interesting thing to me was how many business owners were not outright saying it but they seemed to be in fear that if they donated to the wrong person it could affect their business with the state. Now I am not saying it was any type of pay to play or corruption but rather cautious large business owners who needed to keep a good relationship with the upper levels of state government and feared making a mistake in their donations.
It was obvious that Solano had an uphill battle to win the nomination for lieutenant governor. As he candidly states in his blog, last October's campaign finance reports, which showed him trailing the rest of the field, forced him to reconsider the race.

I just hope the remaining candidates take a cue from Solano's candor and accessibility.