Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: email@example.com
The nomination of Gov. Janet Napolitano as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security was a blow to Arizona Democrats. But, when Gov. Bill Richardson is announced as President-elect Obama's Commerce Secretary nominee, it will probably end up as a boon to New Mexico Democrats.
That's because Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish is a Democrat. Plus, she's been considered the leading Democratic candidate to replace Richardson, who was going to be term-limited in 2010. Assuming Richardson is confirmed, she'll now have the advantage of incumbency.
One loser in the process may be Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez, another Democrat who was thought to be mulling a run for governor. It's not clear how Richardson's departure will affect Val Kilmer's gubernatorial aspirations.
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