Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Audio Post: Weh Announces Exploratory Committee

On a warm spring afternoon in Albuquerque the 2010 NM Gubernatorial campaign heated up.

Former GOP Party Chairman Allen Weh told reporters he's seriously thinking about running and has formed an exploratory committee.

On Tuesday, at his CSI Aviation company offices in the North Valley, Weh was joined by his wife and daughters, local business leaders and former elected officials including former Secretary of the Interior and 10-term Congressman Manual Lujan.

This will be Weh's first run for public office. Weh was elected to lead New Mexico Republicans in 2004 but chose not to seek another four-year term last fall.

Republican Greg Zanetti, a Brigadier General in the New Mexico National Guard, also has an exploratory committee, a campaign website and a You-Tube video channel, but has not declared officially that he's running. Former U.S. Representative Heather Wilson, who lost to Steve Pearce in the U.S. Senator Primary to former Rep. Steve Pearce, has also been considering a run for governor in 2010.

In 2006, former Republican Party Chairman John Dendahl ran against incumbent Governor Bill Richardson and lost handily.

Weh says he has the business experience necessary to become the state's next governor. He promised to run a non-partisan race and told us he'll even reach out to democrats, that he said are "fed up" with fiscal irresponsibility by politicians on both sides of the aisle.

A freshly printed campaign sign, mounted on Weh's podium, promoted the theme of his campaign "Think Different." Weh says he understands the republicans will have a lot of ground to make up after losing statewide in 2008.

The only republican to hold a state office is Land Commissioner Pat Lyons and he is term-limited out of office in 2010.

Listen to Weh's news conference remarks here.

Weh says he won't adopt political campaign contribution limits passed by lawmakers in Santa Fe this winter and signed by the governor. They do not take effect until 2011. Lt. Governor Diane Denish (who is running for governor) already has already collected more than $2-million dollars, but democrat Senator Michael Sanchez told me in April that if he jumps into the democratic primary he's considering adopting them for the 2010 race.

Weh says he's planning to tour the state and determine the level of support he'll have if he jumps into the race. Weh told the crowd he hopes to know in about two months.

Blogger NMFBIHop LP got Democratic Party Chairman Brian Colon's reaction to Weh's entry. Read it here.


After our original blog post we received this news release from Weh's campaign which includes quotes from the news conference and some biographical background.

Photos: MG Bralley

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