Democrats lining up behind one candidate for secretary of state
Maggie Toulouse Oliver, the Bernalillo County clerk, held off last weekend in announcing her candidacy for secretary of state. But May is hours away, and many in the party say Oliver will join the race during the month.
Oliver traveled 250 miles to Las Cruces for the state Democratic convention and even gave a speech.
She is almost a sure bet to be the Democrats' nominee for secretary of state. Many party movers have lined up behind her already, and for good reasons.
Oliver is 37, polished, telegenic and clean of record in running elections in the state's largest county.
Cornelia Lange, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for party chairwoman, said in an interview that she saw Oliver as the best candidate to challenge the sitting secretary of state, Republican Dianna Duran.
Javier Gonzales, the former Democratic chairman, also said Oliver should and would be the party's choice.
Sounding like a candidate, Oliver used her speech to say a lack of leadership at the state level contributed to two Election Night messes last November. Voters stood in line for hours in Chaparral and Rio Rancho. She also mentioned how smooth elections were in other counties, including Bernalillo.
Oliver and U.S. Sen. Tom Udall could be the party's only statewide candidates not to face primary challenges. The races for governor and attorney general are likely to be contested, and state auditor may be as well.