Former Public Regulation Commissioner Jason Marks, an Albuquerque Democrat, has suspended his exploratory committee for the attorney general because of difficulty in fundraising.
This leaves an open road for state auditor Hector Balderas in the Democratic primary.
So far no Republican has announced for the race, though many expect Clovis District Attorney, who lost to incumbent Gary King in 2010, to run again. King can't seek a third term and is instead running for governor.
Marks sent this letter to supporters today:
Dear Friends and Supporters:
When I began an exploratory campaign for Attorney General of the state of New Mexico in January, it was with great anticipation and determination. We spoke with many friends and supporters. The consensus was that I had a strong record to run on from my eight years as a PRC Commissioner, and the ability to garner support around the state based on that record and a platform emphasizing consumer protection, government accountability, and environmental protection. While we understood from the beginning there would be serious competition, we very much believed we would ultimately win.
These past six months have confirmed many of our positive expectations for the race. I gained commitments of support from a large number of Democratic Party State Central Committee members (including approximately half of the members from Bernalillo County). We were successful in garnering significant support outside of my Albuquerque-area PRC District, from Las Cruces to Taos. Our activist, issues-based campaign generated positive feedback from both the grassroots and opinion leaders in the Party (and beyond). We have a cadre of experienced volunteers ready to go to work across the state. But we fell short of our goals for fundraising, which is unfortunately of critical importance in today’s political environment.
After much consultation and consideration, it has become clear that the fundraising gap has put our campaign in a position where the prospects of winning are slim under most scenarios. It would be unfair to my friends and supporters - and to my family - to ask for continued commitments of time, money, and energy to the race under these circumstances. So, with disappointment, I am suspending my campaign for Attorney General.
It has been my honor to serve the people of New Mexico, Bernalillo County and Albuquerque as a two-term PRC Commissioner. Public service is a driving force in my life, and I remain dedicated to protecting the public and improving our state. We are considering my political options and keeping all doors open. I will stay in touch to let you know what develops.
Thank you for your generous and kind support over the years. It has truly meant the world to Maxine and me.