Wednesday, November 14, 2012

In New Mexico, is there anyone brave enough to run against Martinez?

NM Gov. Susana Martinez, one of the nation's most popular governors and a 2016 GOP presidential prospect, is up for reelection 2014, and the New Mexico Telegram has a good look at her potential challengers.

But there's one I want to earmark for you, because I think it could be a particularly acrimonious race if this guy winds up as the Democratic nominee -- Sam Bregman.

Wealthy defense attorney, former Albuquerque city councilman, prominent Democratic party activist, huge critic of Martinez, and failed candidate for chair of New Mexico's Democratic party.

If anyone has the moxie to really take it to Martinez, it's probably Bregman. In fact, he actually subpoenaed her in a wrongful termination case, calling her "almost Nixonian"!

With rhetoric like that, it isn't surprising that the two have had what seems to be an emotional, adversarial relationship.

There was also the matter of Martinez's chief of staff unleashing a profane laceration of a lawmaker that was secretly recorded, and then not so secretly turned over to..... Bregman, who released an excerpt.

Martinez then unloaded on Bregman for allegedly taking the recording out of context, and fired off this shot at her possible, future opponent.

"New Mexicans clearly understand what his strategy is, and that is to move up the political ladder and, you know, he can run for office all he wants. He's lost the last five elections, the last six, fine, he can do it."

As for Bregman's Democratic, primary competition, he'll probably face Gary King -- the son of former, three term governor, Bruce. King has already started raising money for the bid, and if Democrats are feeling a bit less frisky and inflammatory might opt for him over Bregman.

The most intriguing possibility, though, that the Telegram notes is.... Ambassador Joe Wilson, who would undoubtedly turn the race into something on everyone's radar.

(P.S. How popular is Martinez? In a September poll, her approval rating stood at 69%/17%, including 56%/24% among Democrats).