Confidence in full supply among candidates for Democratic chairman
“Rocky” Lara of Carlsbad and Sam Bregman of Albuquerque both say they
have locked up the delegates needed to win. Given that they are in a
three-way race, at least one of them is wrong.
Bregman, 49, right, said in an interview that he had commitments from more than half of the 400-plus delegates.
“We know we already have the votes to win this,” he said.
Lara, 38, right, said her sole focus has been on securing delegate support and it had worked.
In a separate interview, she sounded similar to Bregman. “We have the votes to win,” she said.
Bregman had a sharp retort: “I don’t know how she’s doing her math.”
Bregman and Lara are attorneys. The third candidate for the Democratic
chairmanship, physician Cornelia “Nili” Lange, said the race would be up
in the air until the election April 27 in Las Cruces.
elections are a very, very small universe. These are fluid races, and
many things can happen between now and the 27th,” said Lange, right, also of
Lange, 59, no longer is practicing medicine and said she would devote herself to volunteerism and the Democrat Party.
As chairwoman, she said, she would foster success for Democrats starting in neighborhoods across the state.
“I want to manage the party in a way that puts emphasis on local elections,” Lange said.
approach, she said, would be to outwork Republicans in legislative and
school board elections through a combination of social media and
knocking on doors.
plank of Lange’s is to create a more welcoming atmosphere to stop what
she called the “hemorrhaging of Democrats to decline to state” voter
to a Republican, Lange was Hillary Clinton’s coordinator in New Mexico
dating to 2007. After that, Lange twice ran for state legislative seats
in districts dominated by the rival party. She lost to Republican Rep.
Jimmie Hall in 2010 and Republican Sen. William Payne last year.
She said she would not run for public office while she was party chairwoman.
Bregman and Lara made similar pledges.
litigator, Bregman said he had been approached by people who had
encouraged him to run for governor. But, he said, decided that being
party chairman would the best way for him to serve fellow Democrats.
He said his approach would be consistent efforts to win every race in all 33 counties, no matter how Republican some may be.
says Hubert Humphrey, the Democratic candidate for president in 1968,
introduced his parents to one another. Given his start in life, Bregman
said, he is a Democrat champing to fight for his party at every turn.
said as chairman he would challenge and expose Republican politicians
each time they made a claim that did not match their record.
want to defeat our do-nothing governor and our do-nothing mayor of
Albuquerque,” Bregman said of Republicans Susana Martinez and Richard
was especially critical of Martinez, saying she had appointed a public
education secretary in Hanna Skandera who lacked the requisite
experience and skills to improve state schools.
Albuquerque mayoral race is nonpartisan on the ballot, but still tinged
by politics. Bregman and Lange said they would work to elect Democrat
Pete Dinelli in Albuquerque this October.
Lange said Dinelli winning would be a gateway to a successful year for Democrat candidates across the state in 2014.
who practices family law, was an Eddy County commissioner but said she
did not seek reelection last year because she wanted to be state party
She has campaigned in 24 of the state’s 33 counties, and she says she will reach them all before the party election.
has waged a higher-profile campaign than Lara for the chairmanship,
sending regular publicity handouts when he picks up endorsements from
Lara she had taken a different tack, worrying only about winning over the committee members who will cast ballots in Las Cruces.
said she had crafted a goal-oriented message in her campaign. It has
three planks: Communication throughout the party, collaboration across
county lines to identify common problems and solutions, and strategic
long-term fundraising that includes enticing national contributors.
Lara said her platform was the one that would unify Democrats and help them win consistently.
father was a firefighter and later a potash miner who believed in and
belonged to unions. He became a school board member in Carlsbad, fueling
her interest in politics. Lara's mother also was a union member, with
the United Food and Commercial Workers.
Victory by someone outside the I-25 corridor would signal that Democrats all across the state are mobilizing, she said.
said she would keep the state party headquarters in Albuquerque, but
would try to open a satellite office in southeastern New Mexico, another
sign that the party is ready to be a force in traditional Republican
Of the GOP, which has become accustomed to winning in Carlsbad, Roswell, Hobbs and Eunice, she said: “It would send a message that we're bringing the game to them, and we're not going to run from it.