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Albuquerque Mayor Ponders Political Future

Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez (D), who has talked openly of running for Senate in 2008 if veteran Sen. Pete Domenici (R) does not seek a seventh term, this week set up a fundraising committee for a 2010 gubernatorial bid.

Chavez told the Albuquerque Tribune that he has not ruled out a Senate run and is merely keeping all his options open.

“I really have very strong opinions about my viability as a candidate,” he said.

The money Chavez raises for his statewide campaign account cannot be transferred to a federal account.

Chavez also did not rule out running for a fourth term as mayor in 2009; if he does that, he’d have to re-establish a city campaign account.

Gov. Bill Richardson (D), a likely presidential contender in 2008, will be term-limited in 2010. Lt. Gov. Diane Denish (D) already has announced her intention to run for that post, and others could follow.

In November, Chavez met with national Democratic leaders about a 2008 Senate bid. At the time, he said he would not challenge Domenici if he ran again and would, in fact, be inclined to support New Mexico’s longest-serving Senator for another term.
— Josh Kurtz

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