Outgoing Democratic Chairman Javier Gonzales says candidate must raise at least that much to unseat Republican Gov. Susana Martinez
So far, only one Democrat has told outgoing party chairman Javier Gonzales of his desire to run for governor. He is state Attorney General Gary King, also the only announced candidate.
Gonzales said in an interview Monday that he expects the field of Democrats running for governor to grow by August.
He declined to name a name when asked which Democrat would pose the greatest threat to Martinez being re-elected in 2014. Instead, Gonzales offered a generic profile of what a Democrat would need to best Martinez.
First, he or she would have to be able to raise $8 million to $10 million.
A second attribute would be skin as thick as a Monahan alligator. A race against Martinez would likely get rough in a hurry, Gonzales said.
The third important important qualification, according to Gonzales, is a candidate with expertise on the economy and job creation.
Martinez, a career government employee as a prosecutor and then as governor since 2011, is vulnerable on jobs, Gonzales said.
Her approval ratings, in the mid to high 60s since her election, will drop as voters consider the path the state is on and her lack of progress in improving the economy, Gonzales said.
Martinez probably would like to run against King, who is as smart as they come but duller than dishwater. He rates a two on the charisma meter.
Plus, he has no jobs program in his back pocket after eight years as attorney general.
King's biggest plus -- and minus -- is that he has statewide name recognition. He is known for his own political campaigns and as the son of the late three-term governor, Bruce King.
How vulnerable is Martinez?
Gonzales said a harbinger will be the Albuquerque mayoral election in October. The race is nonpartisan, but it still could show what the future holds in the gubernatorial election, Gonzales said.
If Democrat challenger Pete Dinelli knocks off the incumbent, Republican Richard Berry, Democrats will enter 2014 knowing they can take Martinez, Gonzales said.
Secretary of state's race
Gonzales did not hesitate to identify a Democrat who would be the perfect candidate to run against Republican Secretary of State Dianna Duran.
Toulouse Oliver, 37, is in her seventh year as the Bernalillo County clerk. A regular presence at the Legislature during the winter session, Toulouse Oliver testified with skill and confidence on numerous bills to improve elections and voter access.
Duran, 57, is the elected official, but she defers often to subordinates when legislators ask her even simple questions. Duran has a top-flight elections director in Bobbi Shearer. Shearer knows the answers whenever Duran pivots from questions, which is often.