Political Consultant Joins Primary for Wilson’s Seat

Posted July 17, 2007 at 10:28am

Democrats in Washington, D.C., are behaving as if Albuquerque City Councilor Martin Heinrich will carry the banner against oft- targeted Rep. Heather Wilson (R) next year. But a New Mexico-based Democratic consultant says: Not so fast.

Consultant Bryon Paez announced last week that he also will seek the Democratic nomination in the 1st district. A Marine Corps veteran who has served in Iraq and Somalia, Paez, 40, has worked for several New Mexico political candidates, including Gov. Bill Richardson (D).

Currently, Paez is working for the Santa Fe-based lobbying firm owned by Butch Maki, who is one of Richardson’s closest confidants. This suggests that Richardson, who previously expressed his support for Heinrich’s House bid — though he did not offer an iron-clad endorsement — may sit on the sidelines during the primary.

Paez said he expects to need at least $250,000 for the primary alone. Heinrich last week reported that he had raised about $180,000 through June 30.
— Josh Kurtz