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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Heinrich Gaining Momentum in Quest to Take On Heather Wilson

HeinrichspeechCurrent Albuquerque City Councilor Martin Heinrich (left, speaking at Dem picnic), who's running for a chance to be the Dem nominee in the NM-01 Congressional race against Repub incumbent Heather Wilson, is racking up the endorsements these days. Martin, who also Chairs the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority and serves as the Natural Resources Trustee for the State of New Mexico, recently announced that the following prominent public officials were formally supporting his candidacy:

  • State Senator Jerry Ortiz-y-Pino
  • State Senator Cisco McSorley
  • State Representative Antonio "Moe" Maestas
  • State Representative Mimi Stewart
  • State Representative Gail Chasey
    State Representative Danice Picraux
  • Former Bernalillo County Commissioner Steve Gallegos
  • Albuquerque City Councilor Debbie O’Malley
  • Albuquerque City Councilor Michael Cadigan
  • Albuquerque City Councilor Isaac Benton
  • Edgewood City Councilor Brad Hill
  • Former Mayor of Ranchos de Albuquerque John Hooker
  • Vice Chairman of the Public Regulation Commission Jason Marks
  • Prominent Albuquerque businessman and political activist Antonio Sandoval
  • Former Democratic candidate for the first Congressional district Miles Nelson

Heinrich was the keynote speaker at our DFA-DFNM Meetup earlier this month and by all accounts wowed the crowd with his intelligent, knowledgeable positions, his forthright and articulate answers to questions from attendees and his enthusiasm to take on Wilson. Not only that -- but when he didn't know an answer, he admitted it and pledged to do the necessary research. Imagine that. Honesty on the stump!

Excerpts from Heinrich at Meetup:
Asked what he was most proud of during his prior four years as City Council President, Heinrich cited the Council's successful passage of a raise in the city's minimum wage, but stressed that more should be done to make sure the wage rises with inflation. He also pointed to ethics reform achievements, including voluntary public funding for candidates in municipal elections and a tightening of rules about City contracting. Saying he's working within a broken election system that relies on candidates raising large sums of money, he pledged that he'd work for public campaign financing nationwide if elected.

Why is he running? So that he can have some hope for his kids and the world they'll inherit. In that vein, he said he strongly supports an "Apollo project" to achieve energy independence by speeding green technology advances and a switch to renewable energy sources. Commenting on how far ahead other nations are in this change, he noted that almost 100 percent of the products produced by Albuquerque-based Advent Solar will go to Germany, even though we have much more sun. Asked about nuclear power, he said that we shouldn't be viewing it as the answer or as a magic pill. We need to subsidize and generously fund the future in terms of new technologies, not the past.

As for the Iraq occupation, Heinrich said he believes that Congress mishandled the supplemental appropriation bill and that Dems should have kept putting their bill back into the President's lap after he vetoed it because of the troop redeployment requirements. He agreed that our troops need to come home as quickly as an orderly drawdown can be achieved, and said that Dems need to remember that leading with their values will lead to respect.

Regarding healthcare, Heinrich stressed that it's a basic human right and that Medicare is an excellent model because everyone is in the same insurance pool. He praised the current federal SCHIP bill that would greatly expand Medicaid healthcare coverage for children and noted that Heather Wilson voted against it and with Bush and the tobacco companies. He said he thinks a new approach is needed in financing healthcare and that the free market cannot solve all problems, especially in areas like healthcare.

Asked if he would support impeachment of Bush, Martin said we should start by impeaching Alberto Gonzales and take it from there.

Heinrich said No Child Left Behind should be repealed but funded in the meantime. We need to teach kids to think, not just take tests, he said.

After Heinrich finished answering questions, Meetup attendees were so motivated to contribute to his campaign that additional donation envelopes had to be retrieved from his car when the original supply proved insufficient. That's putting your money where you mouth is -- something we have to keep doing if we want Martin to clear the field and be the Dem nominee. If you'd like to help Heinrich keep his big mo' building, kick in a few bucks for his campaign at the DFNM Netroots page at Act Blue.

Others in the Race
Three other contenders for the Dem nomination in CD1 have come forward in recent weeks. Bryon Paez, who works for the powerful NM lobbying firm run by the Guv's friend, Bruce Maki, has said he intends to enter the race. Attorney Jon Adams has also tossed his hat in the ring. According to Kate Nash at the Albuquerque Tribune, Adams raised $10,000 in campaign cash during the first week of his campaign. Most recently, Jason Call has announced his entry into the race as a "small d independent democrat."

To read previous posts on the NM-01 Congressional race, visit our archive. Thanks to EB for taking such good notes at the Meetup with Heinrich while I was at YearlyKos in Chicago. Photo credit: M.E. Broderick.

August 21, 2007 at 01:42 PM in Democratic Party, DFNM - Albq, NM-01 Congressional Race 2008 | Permalink

Comments

Who the heck is Antonio Sandoval? Never heard of him.

Posted by: Just wondering | Aug 21, 2007 1:50:20 PM

Antonio ran for NM State Rep last election from a West Side district and has many other accomplishments. Here's an article about him from when he was running for office:

http://www.abqtrib.com/news/2006/oct/10/antonio-e-sandoval-democrat/

Posted by: barb | Aug 21, 2007 2:36:27 PM

We all need to pull together and support Heinrich. There are some other self-described progressives in the race but they lack the experience, resources and name recognition to win. Let's help him take this nomination by the horns.

I attended the meetup where he spoke and I found him really impressive.

Posted by: A Liberal | Aug 22, 2007 11:26:11 AM