We haven’t heard much from the New Mexico gubernatorial race, but it looks like we’re missing an entertaining election, to say the least. Susana Martinez became the first Hispanic woman nominated for governor in any state by either major party when she won the Republican nomination this year, and is running against the first woman in New Mexico to be Lieutenant Governor, Diane Denish, who was Bill Richardson’s running mate. Despite Denish’s experience with the political master in Richardson, it doesn’t appear that she learned much during her tenure. Denish hit Martinez with an attack ad on education policy featuring a New Mexico teacher, but Denish and her campaign didn’t do a very good job of vetting their spokeswoman. Martinez, however, was already familiar with her, as she explains in this response (via Politico):
D’oh! Didn’t anyone on the Denish campaign check to see whether their teacher-spokeswoman might have a more personal axe to grind? Instead, they not only made themselves look incompetent, they also allowed Martinez to underscore her law-and-order credentials. That also reminds New Mexico voters about the corruption of the Richardson administration and perhaps the need for some major changes in state government.
The last Rasmussen survey in the state showed Martinez opening a modest lead over Denish, 48/43. Don’t be surprised to see that trend accelerate a bit after this round of dueling attack ads.