Council District 3
Ike Benton will face one of two County Commissioners looking to make the jump to the city body. Councilor Benton will face former City Councilor and County Commissioner Alan Armijo in defense of his District 3 seat.
The district covers most of Downtown, UNM, Nob Hill, and Ridgecrest areas. They're certainly Democrat areas of the city populated by some of the more liberal Democrats. Even though they've been represented by a Republican (Hess Yntema), it'll be interesting to see if the more centrist Armijo can unseat the far left Benton.
Council District 5
Councilor Cadigan is back in again for council after his unsuccessful attempt to qualify for public financing in the mayoral contest. He says he hasn't decided whether or not to go for the free loot courtesy of the taxpayers, but we'd bet the two-term councilor ponies up to the public trough just like every other candidate is being forced to.
Cadigan's entry into the race spells real trouble for the other two candidates who are out stumping - Republican Dan Lewis and Democrat Jeremy Toulouse. Obviously, Toulouse has the most to lose and we wouldn't be surprised if he's out before he gathered his first signature.
Meanwhile, Republican Dan Lewis would benefit from a Toulouse candidacy in District 5. Even though Cadigan - a Democrat - has held the district for two terms, District 5 is considered a Republican seat. Toulouse could pull just enough from his fellow D to put Lewis in office.
Council District 7
Currently held by two-term Republican Sally Mayer, District 7 looks to be another crowded race. Like the race four years ago, the councilor could be facing three challengers. The names of the challengers floating around District 7's political ether are Democrats Lewis Schiffman and David Green, and Republican Michael Cook.
With four candidates evenly split between parties and public financing, incumbent Mayer is the odds on favorite. Even if all four candidates qualify for the $30,000 plus in tax dollars for their campaign, it'll be hard for any of the challengers to overcome Mayer's name ID.
Council District 9
Will he or won't he? That's the $30,000 question. County Commissioner Michael Brasher has been looking at running for several months. He's even gone so far as to take the city's election "training."
The grapevine has it that the commissioner and former councilor will definitely make the run for his old seat. We still aren't sure and our Eyes tell us that it could go either way.
There's little doubt Commissioner Brasher would be a formidable opponent for the twice-elected to one term Don Harris. The problem is that should Brasher decide to sit out the upcoming municipal election, the uncertainty over whether or not he would enter the race may have kept other candidates out.
The races are taking shape. It looks to be an exciting year in local politics made even more interesting by public dissatisfaction with the federal government, and continuing allegations of public corruption involving politicos from the governor's office to the mayor's office. Will this be a year where New Mexico votes for its own change? Only time will tell.
----- Update -----
We received an email from Jeremy Toulouse regarding the re-entry of incumbent Councilor Michael Cadigan into the District 5 race. It's our opinion that Mr. Toulouse has the most to lose since Democrat and incumbent Cadigan will suck up all of the D's oxygen. Of course, no candidate worth their salt would admit otherwise.
How does the saying go? Diversity is the mother of invention. No that's not it, but seriously. While Mr. Cadigan also personally promised me he wasn't running for re-election, I welcome the increased competition. With both the right and the left covered, that leaves a large area in the middle for my candidacy in the non-partisan District 5 race. I have over a decade of experience proving my innovative approach to making government work on the front lines of society and in government, expertise in getting the job done better for less is worth its weight in gold.As Republicans found out the hard way in the 2008 election, anti-Cadigan voters are more likely to gravitate to the candidate that represents the greatest "change." In this case that candidate is Dan Lewis. If we were handicapping this race (and we are 'cause it's fun) we'd say that barring any huge mistake by Cadigan the final numbers would look something like Cadigan 45%, Lewis 30%, and Toulouse 25%. But hey, who really knows?
If it can be done better, then good is not enough,
the right experience at the right time!