In 725 days, New Mexicans will pick a new governor. That may sound like a long way off but for a job that big, no time is too early to start.
That’s why, on Tuesday night, just hours after the country learned that Donald Trump was moving into the White House potential candidates started lining up to test drive their ideas to dig New Mexico out of this hole that Gov. Martinez keeps digging.
First up was Sen. Tom Udall (D), a former attorney general, congressman and current progressive champion in the United States Senate.
During post-election analysis on KANW FM with Joe Monahan (and our own ProgressNowNM board member Sandy Buffett), Sen. Udall called in to say that he was considering a run for governor.
The popular US Senator won his US Senate seat in 2006 by defeating Tea Party Congressman Steve Pearce with 61% of the vote. That might be important this time around as Pearce is rumored to be considering his own run to be governor. Trump’s popularity this cycle likely won’t squelch Pearce’s own ambitions.
Udall won re-election with 286,000 votes in 2014 against conservative hardliner Allen Weh. That’s just 7,000 fewer votes than Governor Martinez earned to retain re-election over Gary King. If Udall can keep his 2014 support and add another 10-15% to that total, he’d be hard to beat.
Martinez will end her second term in 2018. She is term-limited.
Get to know Sen. Tom Udall:
He voted in favor of:
- Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010,
- FDA Food Safety Modernization Act,
- DREAM Act,
- American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,
- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,
- Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act,
- and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.
In the US Senate, Udall serves on five Senate committees: Foreign Relations, Commerce, Indian Affairs, and Rules and Administration, and the important Appropriations Committee where he helps to protect New Mexico’s national labs, and federal programs supporting small business, national labs and important social programs for New Mexicans.