I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Colón to resign party job, run for lieutenant governor
News is all over the Internet this morning — and has been confirmed by my sources — that Brian Colón will resign his position as chairman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico later this week and announce that he’s running for lieutenant governor next year.
Colón, 39, enters an already crowded primary field, but many Democrats expect him to compete heavily for the nomination.
770 KKOB-AM reporter Peter St. Cyr reported that the party’s first vice chair, Annadelle Sanchez, will become interim party chair, and a special election to replace Colón will be held within 60 days.
Colón did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But news of his plans immediately put another significant piece in place for Democrats. State Auditor Hector Balderas, who had been considering running for lieutenant governor, instead announced his intention to seek re-election this morning.
“With just 30 brave employees and one of the smallest budgets in the state, we have created an expectation and a reality that New Mexico will have an independent voice to speak on behalf of taxpayers and on the real conditions of our government,” Balderas said in a news release about his first term as auditor. “There is much more important work to be done.”
Already in the lieutenant governor’s race are Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano and state Sens. Linda Lopez and Gerald Ortiz y Pino of Albuquerque. New Mexico State University Regent Javier Gonzales; Lawrence Rael, who heads the Mid-Region Council of Governments; and former U.S. Navy officer and current law student Matthew Padilla have said they are also considering entering the race.
Sources believe Rael is likely to run.
Colón is a lawyer and works for the Albuquerque firm Robles, Rael & Anaya. The law firm is currently suing two defendants in the housing authority scandal on behalf of the State Investment Council to try to recover millions of dollars in lost bond money.
Colón also chairs Popejoy Hall’s board of directors and serves on the board of trustees for the Albuquerque Community Foundation. He has been chairman of the the Democratic Party of New Mexico since 2007.
Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, also a former-state Democratic Party chair, is the only declared 2010 gubernatorial candidate, though Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez says he’s formed an exploratory committee.