New Mexico Democrats Take On Sanchez
Even though he has not yet entered the Senate race, New Mexico Lt. Gov. John Sanchez (R) already finds himself under attack from state Democrats, who are criticizing him in a fundraising email to supporters.
"Lt. Governor John Sanchez... was in Washington last week courting the Tea Party and the extreme right wing of the Republican Party to help him in his primary against [former Rep.] Heather Wilson (R)," writes New Mexico Democratic Party Chairman Javier Gonzales in the email.
While he is exploring a bid, Sanchez is not officially in the Senate race yet and Wilson has yet to hit back at him, even though he has openly questioned her conservative credentials.
"Clearly this is going to be a race to see who can be the most conservative candidate in the field," Gonzales continues. "New Mexico does not need a Tea Party Senator like Rand Paul who wants to cut 25% of the budget across the board."
Most Republicans view Wilson as the stronger general election candidate, so it's notable that Democrats are going after Sanchez.
The state Democratic Party says they were going after extremism in the GOP in general in the email, using Sanchez's comments as an example.
"It was more an attack on the extremism in the GOP today with Sanchez's inflammatory comments as the hook. Make no mistake, we will be all over both Wilson and Sanchez as the race progresses because they are both so woefully out of touch with the mainstream," said state Democratic Party executive director Scott Forrester.
Gov. Susana Martinez's (R) success in 2010 opens the door for another Hispanic Republican like Sanchez to perform well in a statewide general election contest, something Democrats in the state are well aware of. In a recent interview with Hotline On Call, Sanchez underscored the importance of Republicans effectively reaching out to Hispanic voters in a state with a quickly growing Latino population.
At bottom, the email shows Democrats are not going to sit on the sidelines and watch the GOP primary if Sanchez gets in the race, as most expect him to do.
-- Julie Sobel contributed to this post