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.