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Friday, October 26, 2007

NM-Sen Race: Marty Chavez Disses Tom Udall, Others

Anyone else shocked and dismayed that Mayor Marty Chavez has the nerve to paint Rep. Tom Udall -- one of the most respected and widely popular political figures in the state -- as a fringe left candidate? In an interview with Las Cruces blogger Heath Haussamen, Chavez is quoted as follows commenting on the Dem primary race for U.S. Senate in New Mexico:

He [Chavez] also said he is confident he would defeat Udall in a primary. "Philosophically, he's so far to the left," Chavez said. "I'd rather not have him in the race, but that's a challenge I'd not shy away from."

Despite serious misgivings about Chavez's primary run on the part of many Democrats -- high and low -- he comes across as supremely confident he can beat anyone because, well, he's "moderate" Marty Chavez and any other baggage he carries is apparently irrelevant:

"I feel very strongly that this is going to be a Democratic pickup and I'm going to be that Democrat, because I'm a moderate Democrat," Chavez said. "I think the Republicans are more afraid of me than some others."

... He also said he isn't concerned about U.S. Reps. Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce, the two Republicans who are running. He said Wilson "is in trouble" because she's damaged from the 2006 election and the U.S. attorney scandal, and Pearce - who he called the likely winner of the GOP primary - "is way outside the mainstream."

In contrast, a statewide SurveyUSA poll, conducted for Albuquerque's KOB-TV from October 5-7, 2007, shows Pearce 21 points over Chavez and Wilson besting Chavez by four. The poll also has Pearce losing to Tom Udall by 18 points, as well as Wilson losing to Udall by 18 points. Seems that according to those polled anyway, it's Chavez who's outside the mainstream in some way.

Chavez also said he's "not concerned" about running against popular Lt. Gov. Diane Denish in the Dem Senate primary, should she decide to enter the race:

Chavez said he isn't worried. Denish has already raised more than $1 million for a 2010 gubernatorial run, and with Chavez abandoning his gubernatorial bid to instead run for Senate, he said it wouldn't make sense for her to enter the race. He said he is "not concerned" even if she does enter the race.

In addition, Chavez is out of step with those who believe that Albuquerque's recent municipal election, where the candidates he backed lost miserably, was a meaningful gauge of his current popularity:

Chavez said he doesn't "take much" from the results of the city election because turnout was only 9 percent.

... "I have legitimate progressive credentials, but I am pro-business," Chavez said, adding he believes the two can go together.

Marty doesn't seem to get that there's a big difference between being supportive of local business interests and giving away the store to sprawl developers and other big donors while claiming to be "progressive" and "green." There's also a big difference between Dems respected by New Mexicans for their integrity and fair play, no matter what their political stripe, and those who too often come across as concerned only with maximizing their own power by any means necessary.

To read our previous posts on the 2008 U.S. Senate race in New Mexico, visit our archive.

October 26, 2007 at 03:03 PM in 2008 NM Senate Race | Permalink


Chavez does not realize - a well known popular progressive liberal like Udall who won two Statewide election is favored to win in a Primary over a Moderate-Conservative Democrat who is not well known outside of ABQ. Regarding the general election. was Chavez implying that he is a much stronger general election candidate than Udall because he thinks UDall is too liberal. He fails to realize that Udall is popular statewide. NM is a blue state so Progressive Liberals can win.

Chavez did no favors insulting Udall- Chavez could have said- Udall has been an effective Congressman for the People of NM-3- He will serve the people of NM as a member of the US House where he is on the powerful Appropriations committee. He can say that Denish will be better served as NM Governor than Junior Senator. Richardson is better served as VP or Secretary of State.

Posted by: Neal Patel | Oct 26, 2007 3:25:40 PM

Have you ever seen Marty Chavez stand before the partys state central committee? He barely gets any applause at all. Have you ever seen Tom Udalll stand before the scc? The place explodes.

Posted by: Question | Oct 26, 2007 3:55:39 PM

In his rabid, bumbling, bitter attempt to salvage some foothold in the political spectrum (he’s burned Democrats left and right, and the chances of Republicans giving him any love are laughable), Marty is really only revealing more and more that he is nothing more than a hollow shell of a human being.

Posted by: So long Marty | Oct 26, 2007 4:25:29 PM

Although I sometimes wish Tom Udall WERE more of a leftist, he stands way outside Chavez's class in every way. Udall is still an intact politician possessing intelligence, concern, and is held in high respect by a wide range of his constituents. He has an excellent staff and his membership in the House Progressive caucus should recommend him to many more voters, especially after six years of Bush. I tend to think he's really happier in the House, but who knows ? Why would anyone want to be a moderate democrat anyway?

Posted by: david bacon | Oct 26, 2007 6:11:08 PM

This cements in my mind that Marty DINO can not be our nominee fo ranything in this democratic party. He not getting my vote and would completely depress me for the rest of the elcetion, especially if it s Hillary and Marty. Yuck. too much DINO there.

Posted by: | Oct 26, 2007 9:20:04 PM

Answering david's question, you pass yourself off as a moderate democrat if you want to do what the rich and corrupt business interests want you to do but still pretend you are a good and nice person by not hating gay people, making noise about how "green" you are and not keep health care away from all children.

Posted by: Not Moderate | Oct 26, 2007 11:38:37 PM

Give me a fringe left candidate anytime. That would mean the candidate would get what the hell is going on in the world at this moment in time and know that we have to move quickly on many fronts to resurrect our democracy, start mitigating global warming and stop the violent imperialism going on in our name. I wish.

And "mainstream"? The majority of Americans agree with me.

Posted by: | Oct 27, 2007 12:02:35 AM

There is a fine line between "supremely confident" and just plain arrogant, I think the latter fits Mayor Sleazy much better. No way will I vote for someone who from the get go claims he is "pro business", IMO that translates to putting corporations ahead of PEOPLE.

Posted by: VP | Oct 27, 2007 7:30:23 AM

Marty Chavez impressed me with how he handled the Montano Bridge affair. It's clear that he loves power, and is in the pocket of the Realtors.

Posted by: | Oct 27, 2007 12:16:39 PM

If Chavez loves power- why is he running for the Senate- Being a US Senate is the least powerful job compared to being Mayor or Governor- If elected Chavez will be a backbencher- becomes number 100 or 99 in seniority. He will get a sucky committee assignments. He is not a national figure.

With regards to Udall entering- Udall should wait after Feb 5 or before Feb 12- We have to anticipate the possibility of Big Bill makeing a surprise enterence- This may force the Republican candidates Wilson or Pearce to drop out and run for re-election or retire- assuming they missed the filing deadline.

Posted by: Neal Patel | Oct 27, 2007 1:53:41 PM

Chavez is running for Senate because he has no other choice. He can't beat Denish for Gov. If he tries to run for mayor again he is up against term limits that he would have to challenge in court. The last city election shows voters have turned against him. He is too lazy to run for Congress where he would face election every two years.

Posted by: Old Dem | Oct 28, 2007 10:12:10 AM

Chavez is running for Senate because he has no other choice. He can't beat Denish for Gov.

He is too lazy to run for Congress where he would face election every two years.

Chavez would have an excellent job getting elected to the NM-1 CD(ABQ) based than winning a Statewide Election.

Posted by: Neal Patel | Oct 29, 2007 8:29:20 AM

Two pieces on my blog about Pearce and Udall. You can read them at:

Posted by: | Oct 29, 2007 3:02:00 PM

Marty Chavez will make a fine Senator. Mr. Chavez is an effective attorney who helped a lot of people as did his father. Marty is from New Mexico and is a good choice to be our Senator. Ms. Wilson, Mr. Udall and Mr. Richardson are out of state professional politicians who come to New Mexico as a cheap place to run. Marty was born here and runs as one of us. We need him.

Posted by: Tom Kalm | Nov 25, 2007 10:19:52 PM

Steve Pearce is from New Mexico too. That doesn't mean he'd make a good Senator. There are plenty of effective attorneys too. Very few would make good Senators. What we need is someone who can work well with people to find solutions in a group of 100 colleagues. Chavez is not that person.

Posted by: JJ | Nov 26, 2007 8:25:50 AM

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