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Encouraging Competition is One Thing

I’m the first one to encourage competition when it comes to elections. I ran in a Republican primary against two others for a State House legislative seat, and just a month ago, I lost in a race against the incumbent Chairman of the Bernalillo County Republican Party. I don’t believe that if one Republican holds a position, every other Republican should just back off and wait until that person steps down or dies.

I also believe that people who are running for something should, well, should run. That means making a decision and putting yourself out there to answer the tough questions. Which is why this little tidbit from yesterday’s Albuquerque Journal is so troubling (subscription):

Greer, the Sierra County GOP chairman for nearly five years, plans to formally announce his candidacy for the state chairmanship on Thursday. He said he had been talking with other county GOP leaders and encouraged to run.

“We want to take the party back to the grass roots, back to the counties, back to the Republicans that do the work and actually do the voting,” Greer said in a telephone interview.

He is a real estate broker and rancher from Truth or Consequences, and ran unsuccessfully last year for a seat on the Public Regulation Commission.

Weh, who became GOP chairman in 2004, said he can provide continuity in the party organization.

“A lot of people convinced me that it was important that an experienced chairman continue at this point and take it through the presidential election,” said Weh.

I’ve met Earl Greer. We recently spent an evening sitting together at the same table at the State GOP Lincoln Dinner. I like him. But, if we were sitting together tonight for dinner, I’d have to say:

Earl, what the heck are you thinking? Who announces a candidacy three days before an election and expects to be taken seriously? C’mon Earl, you know better than that.

Part of the reason, I am so shocked by this approach is that it’s not like this is the first time he has run for office. In 2002 he ran for NM’s 2nd Congressional District (CD) seat. According to, he only raised $37,039. Not nearly enough to run an effective campaign, and it showed. Of the five gentleman running for the seat, Mr. Greer placed 5th in the GOP primary.

The next year, Mr. Greer decided to run for the State Party 2nd CD Vice Chairman position and that time, he placed 4th in a four-way race. Then just last year, he lost the Public Regulatory Commission race. Now, I’m strong believer that when it comes to politics, you can learn a lot by your failures. I know I have. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that Mr. Greer has.

As a member of State Central Committee, I’ve received nearly a dozen letters and more than a few phone calls from, or in support of, Chairman Allen Weh’s. The only notification I’ve had that anyone else was running was that little blurb embedded in the Albuquerque Journal article referenced above. And, it doesn’t even say Mr. Greer wants to run. All it says is that others encouraged him to run. That’s no way to run a race.

Moreover, what’s this nonsense about taking “the party back to the grass roots, back to the counties, back to the Republicans that do the work and actually do the voting.” Everyone knows that politics is local. You can’t take something back to something it already is. This really makes no sense to me.

Not to mention, that if your “campaign” – and with only three days to go, I use that term loosely – is based on getting back to the “Republicans that do the work,” don’t you think the State Central Committee members, those folks elected at the Ward level, deserve a little more communication – you know, a personal letter or two, a phone call, something that let’s us know someone is running.

The bottom line here is that the only way Mr. Greer’s run could be successful is if back room deals have been made. The fact that Mr. Greer thinks he can win the election without reaching out to the Republicans that do the work at the local level is very troubling.