I had a quick chat with Lawrence Rael today and he confirmed that he will soon be announcing his candidacy for governor.
“I’m going to announce,” Rael -- a Democrat and longtime government administrator who ran for lieutenant governor in 2010 -- said. “We’re heading in that direction. It will be pretty soon. I’m just making calls and talking to people.”
Rael, 55, last month resigned as executive director of the federal Farm Service Agency in New Mexico. Previously he served as the executive director for the Mid-Region Council of Governments for eight years and worked 12 years as chief administrative officer for the city of Albuquerque.
In 2010 he finished second in a field of five in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, placing behind former state party chairman Brian Colon.
Rael will join what's evolving into a large field of Democratic candidates for governor next year. Announced candidates include Attorney General Gary King; state senators Linda Lopez of Albuquerque and Howie Morales of Silver City; and Santa Fe author and consultant Alan Webber.
The winner will face incumbent Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, who is not expected to have a primary opponent.
Rael was born in Santa Fe and raised in rural Sile, N.M. He currently lives in Los Ranchos near Albuquerque with his wife Kim Rael and their three children.