NM-Sen, FL-Sen: Balderas & Hasner File FEC Paperwork

One expected, one not as expected:

New Mexico State Auditor Hector Balderas, the youngest Hispanic statewide official ever elected in the country, filed statements of candidacy and organization with the FEC on Wednesday.

Former Florida State House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, previously in the exploratory phase of his deliberations, sent in statements of candidacy and organization on Monday, according to the office of the Secretary of the Senate. …

Sources familiar with both campaigns signaled that formal announcements were likely to come next week, after the Easter holiday.

I can’t work up much energing over Hasner’s pending entrance into the GOP field in Florida, but Balderas moving forward is definitely interesting. As you may recall, he sounded very bullish on a run when Jeff Bingaman first announced his retirement two months ago, but then waited to pull the trigger. In the meantime, Rep. Martin Heinrich became the first Democrat to actually launch a campaign, and in so doing established himself as the likely frontrunner. It looked like Heinrich might have boxed Balderas out, and indeed, Democratic power-brokers were supposedly suggesting that Balderas could instead run for Heinrich’s now-open House seat.

But it looks like it’s full steam ahead for Balderas, setting up what ought to be a serious battle with Heinrich. It’s hard to know exactly where the fault-lines will fall in this race, though ethnicity may play a role here (Balderas is Hispanic, Heinrich is white) – but I’d caution against coming to any facile conclusions about how things might shake out on account of this. In any event, I think Heinrich is probably favored, but I don’t think anything is set in stone.

17 thoughts on “NM-Sen, FL-Sen: Balderas & Hasner File FEC Paperwork”

  1. Doesn’t he live in NM-01?  Everything I’ve heard points to Greigo being a terrible candidate.  I think three terms in the House for Balderas puts him in great position to run for Governor in 2018 assuming Martinez gets a second term.  

  2. I’ll be honest: Before this seat became open, I’d never heard of Heinrich or Balderas. Does anyone know much about their own ideologies? Is one of the two considered more liberal/progressive than the other?

    I know next to nothing about Balderas but my early instincts have me leaning toward Heinrich. Am I racist??

  3. But I’m surprised and dismayed that a primary seems to be shaping up.

    I do think the auditor should defer and run for Rep. Heinrich’s House seat. He may not be a current resident of the district, but he worked and lived there for a number of years and I think he’s fully qualified to represent Albuquerque in Congress.

  4. …the D primary becomes racially-charged and Heinrich/Sanchez wind up the respective party nominees. I suspect Balderas would clean up among Hispanics vs. Sanchez, but I’m hardly as confident about Heinrich.  

  5. I have said this before but it should be repeated again. As a New Mexico native can everyone please repeat after me: There will be no racially polarized primary with Hector Balderas and Martin Heinrich. It will be a DC outsider (Balderas) vs. a “I’m ready to hit the ground running on day one and I have proven that I can get stuff done” (Heinrich) candidacy.

    It is simple why any racial polarization won’t happen. The dynamics of the state are that Latinos and Whites have lived together for centuries and there isn’t the polarization that you have in states like AZ. Heinrich is not going to racially alienate his base who are Latinos. Remember that in 2010 he had a narrow win against a Latino candidate and Latinos overwhelmingly had his back. He has worked the community quite well and isn’t going to alienate them. Any Democrat in New Mexico can’t win without backing from Latinos it is that simple. He is going to run a campaign on being the best fit to get stuff done for New Mexico as a quasi insider but he’s only been around for 4 years.

    This is very interesting to me. I am going to keep an open mind on who I’d recommend to family members to vote for but they both are young and have great stories. I’d be interested to see how Balderas goes with pressure on him. Running for auditor is much different than the US Senate. If he is Patricia Madrid we will find out in the debates. The winner here is the favorite in the general election.  

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