Sunday, November 16, 2008

State Auditor Hector Balderas Says He's "Ready to Serve" New Mexico.

State Auditor Hector Balderas Standing Behind
Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish
at Pepsi Center in Denver.

Governor Bill Richardson has spent years traveling the globe preparing for a job he covets, Secretary of State. While he's officially on the record saying he loves being Governor of New Mexico, he was quick to jet off to Chicago for an interview with President-elect Barack Obama on Friday afternoon in Chicago.

Gov. Richardson may face still competition from Senator Hillary Clinton, but Obama has said many times that he values Richardson's experience and leadership.

While we were in Denver at the DNC, moments before the Governor delivered his foreign policy address at Invesco Field, we asked State Auditor Hector Balderas if the prime-time speech was an indication of Richardson's chance of getting the Secretary of State post.

This is what Balderas told us in August.

If the Governor accepts a post in the new Democratic Administration in Washington, Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish will become the state's first female Governor. She'll also be the first to be empowered by the state's constitution to appoint her successor in the Lieutenant Governor's office. An amendment authorizing the appointment was approved by voters this fall.

Speculation has been swirling that the former State Representative and current State Auditor is at the top of Lt. Governor Denish's list, but she recently told 770KKOB's Bob Clark that she doesn't have a short list. Hmm. If there were two names on the list would they be 1) Hector and 2) Balderas?

We asked Balderas, who was named one of the nation’s 100 most influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business Magazine, if he was prepared to become Lieutenant Governor. Specifically we asked him if he'd had already gotten "a wink and a nod?"

Listen to his revealing answer about 1:05 seconds into this clip.

Read what other bloggers are reporting here and here.

We've heard several other names mentioned as possible contenders for the post. NM Politics Blogger Joe Monahan has that story:
The Denish camp finds Balderas appealing because he is from the Spanish North, heart of the Democratic Party and where Denish is not at her strongest. But some politicos speculate that while a Hispanic light guv for Denish is a political necessity, they would not necessarily have to come from the North. For example, ABQ State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino, 65, is seen as someone who might get a look for the slot. He would be a gray beard with no ambition for the state's top job. He would help with Hispanics and also help Di keep the liberal wing of the party under control.
Also send us your thoughts via a blog comment. Is Hector the odds on favorite, or do you support another Democrat for the post?

No comments: