Lt. Gov. John Sanchez (R) announced Tuesday he will not run for governor and endorsed Rep. Steve Pearce (R) rather than running for governor.
Sanchez: “While I continue to work toward a decision for my future, I can say that I will not be a candidate for governor in 2018. Steve has been a good friend and ally over the years. I wish him the best of luck in his campaign.” (Facebook)
State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn (R) also took himself out of the running and backed Pearce. (Santa Fe New Mexican)
Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry (R) “is continuously mentioned as a possible candidate but his mention is pro forma at this point.”
A potential wildcard that could have an impact on the race is former Governor Gary Johnson who is rumored to be weighing a bid, though if he ran it is unlikely he would run as a Republican.” (NMPolitico)
Roswell oilman Mark Murphy will serve as chairman of Pearce’s campaign.
Pearce’s “roll out was solid, as it should be from someone who has run so many contests, including statewide. The news popped on the GOP friendly ABQ Journal at about three in the morning. It was also leaked early enough for it to make the print editions that the older voters still read. Pearce appeared early morning on conservative radio talker KKOB-AM, another place the GOP base is tuned into. The announcement got solid notice on social media, but excitement about it was not much in evidence, signaling the difficulty the candidacy faces. TV coverage included sound bites from Pearce.”
Long time political consultant Steve Cabiedes: “Pearce knows this is going to be rough sledding in a Democratic state but he is taking one for the team. If he didn’t run the R’s would be in a desperate position. They have no bench to speak of. The Pearce candidacy will at least get out the base GOP vote and help protect Republican state House seats. Also, he could win. It would be like a lightning strike but such things do occur, if rarely.” (Joe Monahan)
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