Third Democrat enters governor’s race to challenge Susana Martinez

By Rob Nikolewski on October 16, 2013
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By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog

SANTA FE — The race for the Democratic candidate to take on got a little more crowded Wednesday.

Saying he’s “in it to win it,” state , said he’ll join and state in the Democratic primary next June.

THREE’S COMPANY: State Sen. Howie Morales, D-Silver City, is the third Democrat throwing a hat into the ring to challenge Republican Gov. Susana Martinez in 2014.

“The focus is going to be a dedicated effort to compete at all levels to make sure we get the message out,” Morales told .

The specifics of that message are still a bit of a mystery because the 40-year-old Morales avoided going into details Wednesday, saying he’s holding off until next Tuesday when he will formally announce his candidacy in his home town.

Now serving his second term in the state Senate, Morales has been a of the Martinez administration, especially the A-through-F grading that the Legislature passed and the governor signed in the 2011 session.

“We need to learn from what is happening in other states,” said Morales, a former teacher and baseball coach who now works as an administrator at the “The mistakes they have had and we’re following along the same lines.”

Before taking on the sitting governor, though, Morales will have to defeat King and Lopez next spring.

“It’s going to take a lot of effort but I’m definitely confident,” Morales said. “I wouldn’t have gotten in if I wasn’t confident” of winning the Democratic primary.

According to recently released campaign finance reports, in the bank while and . The governor has enjoyed approval ratings in various polls in the 60 percent range for more than two years and that the 2014 field challenging Martinez is weak.

Contact Rob Nikolewski at and follow him on Twitter @robnikolewski

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