After U.S. Sen. Tom Udall said he would not run to be the next governor, some Democrats released statements about potentially running for the state’s highest office.
A spokeswoman for Hector Balderas, the state’s Attorney General, said he is considering a run for governor in 2018, and the mayor of Santa Fe says supporters have asked him to run.
This is on top of U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who previously said she would decide whether or not to run for governor by the end of the year.
Caroline Buerkle, who worked on campaigns for Balderas in the past, sent a statement to media Wednesday afternoon after Udall’s announcement that he would remain in the US Senate. “Attorney General Balderas is seriously considering a run for governor and has deep concerns about the future of our state,” Buerkle said. “He will make a determination in the near future and update New Mexicans.”
Buerkle also said before Udall said he would not run that Balderas was looking into a run.
Meanwhile Santa Fe mayor Javier Gonzales said in a statement, “I’m getting calls of encouragement to give it a serious look, and I’m reflecting on that with my family and my friends and the people of Santa Fe.”
Gonzales has been receiving national attention particularly for his decision to keep Santa Fe as a so-called “sanctuary city.”
“Our State’s failure to invest in education, to put our confidence behind our people, sends the wrong message, it says we don’t believe in ourselves,” he said. “We need leadership that brings us together, that builds collaboration that will move us forward.”
Other potential Democratic candidates include former magazine co-founder Alan Webber and former Univision executive Jeff Apodaca.
On the Republican side, Lt. Gov. John Sanchez and U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce have said they would consider a run. Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry is also expected to consider running for the Republican nomination.
There will be no incumbent running in 2018, as Gov. Susana Martinez cannot run for a third consecutive term.
Each of the last three governors served the maximum of two terms in a row.