The race this year will be one where the republicans will try to control the message. The question for the State Democratic Party will be can they do a better job and does that mean acting just like the republicans? Nothing turns democratic voters off more than hearing their candidates attacking the republicans. Democratic voters don’t want attacks they want a message that says what their candidates can do in the future that will help the middle class and the working poor.
They want to know how they will vote when it comes to things like raising taxes on the top 2% of wage earners in this country. They want to know how candidates plan to reduce the price of gas and increase the number of jobs so people can afford to live in this country and this state. They want to know how they plan on reforming education in this state without driving out gifted teachers.
Candidates would do well to dismiss the negative messages being put out by the Republican Party as hate filled and harmful to our form of government. Then they should act more like Congressman Martin Heinrich who stands by his pass votes while telling the voters that he is willing to work with both sides to achieve the best results for the voters he represents in this state. This is a candidate that will perform well on the national stage as our next senator. We would do well to have more candidates like him at the state level. His example will be the one that guides our party to success in the future.
Later this month the state central committee will pick one of two men to lead our party into the next election cycle. At present we have two candidates running for the state party chair. They are Sam Bregman and Javier Gonzales.
Sam Bregman has promised to take the attack to the republicans. To be a forceful presents in the local media. He wants to organize the party by having district meetings where he works with the long established activists to organize the party. Now the state central committee members must decide if they trust his message and if it will not drive core democratic voters away from the polls. As of yet he has not explained how he will reach out to individuals who feel they have been cut out of the political process by long time operators.
The other candidate is well known State Party Chairman Javier Gonzales. He is known for his diplomatic style approach to campaigns. He is more of a behind the screens type operator. He has already done work to build the party from the ground up by organizing local activists. He knows the value of getting his message out to the voters in the nontraditional venues as most of the media is very right leaning in this state.
Javier’s problem will be to bring the outsiders into the party and to make them feel welcome. His first attempt in 2010 did not go all that well as most of those voters did not favor the negative message being put out by the lead candidates in the state elections. Can Gonzales convince candidates to keep their message about issues and to stay away from the negative attacks that cost our state the governor’s office in 2010? Gonzales has been endorsed by retiring U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman. Senator Bingaman’s endorsement will carry a lot of weight since he has lead our party on the federal screen for the last few years.
The next move is up to the Democratic State Central Committee members. Will they chose wisely and will the approach of the next state party chairman work?