Monday Schadenfreude: Plame flames

Whoever wins the Democrat primary on June 2 for New Mexico's Third Congressional District will be an overwhelming favorite to win the general election in November.  It is very unlikely that Valerie Plame will be that person.  She probably will not even make the Democrat ballot.

Valerie Plame and her then-husband, Joe Wilson, loudly decamped from Washington, D.C. and moved to New Mexico's version of Marin County, California, Santa Fe, in 2007.  They remained there quietly until 2019, when Ms. Plame announced that she was running for Congress as a Democrat in northern New Mexico.  In September, her campaign produced a catchy video that received national attention.  The WaPo was less enthusiastic, giving the ad three Pinocchios.

The only major controversy of her campaign has involved a tweet that she made in 2017, long before she announced her run for Congress, linking to an article entitled "America's Jews Are Driving America's Wars."  She apologized numerous times for the tweet and announced in January of this year that she was joining a temple in Santa Fe.  Several days after the announcement a congregant of the temple said Ms. Plame was not a member, as she had claimed.

The Plame campaign has been a champion fundraiser, surpassing its nearest rival by hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Over 87% of her contributors are from out of state.  No other candidate comes close to such a disproportionate share of out-of-state financial support.  Despite her campaign war chest, the Plame campaign has apparently not received a single group endorsement.  By contrast, another candidate, Teresa Leger Fernandez, has received endorsements from at least four groups.

The day of reckoning came on March 7, the day of the pre-primary convention.  The convention delegates determine who shall appear on the Democrat ballot in New Mexico.  To qualify, a candidate must receive at least 20% of the vote.  Sadly for Ms. Plame, she received only 5.18% of the vote.  Despite her substantial fundraising, her campaign apparently never really excited party insiders in New Mexico.

Despite her poor showing in the pre-primary convention, Ms. Plame can still get on the June ballot, but she will have to jump through some difficult hoops.

A candidate who seeks but fails to receive a pre-primary convention designation may collect additional signatures totaling at least 4 percent of the total vote of the candidate's party in the state or congressional district, whichever applies to the office the candidate seeks. The candidate is required to file a new declaration of candidacy and the additional nominating petition for the office for which the candidate failed to receive a pre-primary designation. The post-convention declaration of candidacy and nominating petition must be filed with the New Mexico Secretary of State either 10 days following the date of the pre-primary convention at which the candidate failed to receive the designation, or on the date all declarations of candidacy and additional nominating petitions are due, whichever is later.

No word so far on how that's going to go.

Image credit: YouTube screen shot.

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