Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White has announced he will enter the race for Congress. White is one of the rising stars on the Republican side of the political scene and has been mentioned for other jobs like mayor and governor. He would make a formidable opponent for any Democrat much less a little known single term councilor from Albuquerque's district 4.
Of course both men face primary's and could see a challenge from within their parties. Over on the R side of the isle state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones is said to be considering a run; a run that could very well be over now that the better known White is in the race.
It will be interesting to see if any other Democrat decides to give Heinrich a challenge in the Democratic primary now that White is in the race. Since Attorney General Patricia Madrid was sent packing by Heather Wilson in an election year that saw a tidal wave of anti-Republican sentiment, Heinrich has been seen as a young, far left long shot against the incumbent Wilson unless he happened to catch lightening in a bottle; which he appeared to do last week.
Should White prevail in a Republican primary, he is the Democrat's worst nightmare because he is well known, young, and talented politician and unlike Heinrich, he's got no voting record to tie around his neck. You can tell how scared the Ds are of White because yesterday (read it here) they started trying to associate White with the perfectly proper (and damn necessary) firing of former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias.
(Sidebar)The shake up continues and more after shocks are sure to be felt as politicians move to fill the void created by Domenici's retirement. Next year promises to be one of the most interesting and exciting election years in recent history, with a whole new crop of people and ideas entering the fray. Last week Councilor Heinrich may have caught lightening in a bottle, but the accompanying thunder may just shatter his Congressional dreams.
It's amazing how far political groups like Democracy for New Mexico will try to stretch a "controversy." In this case, a controversy that isn't controversial. Don't be surprised if they try to tie every major Republican to the Iglesias firing.