New Mexico: Foes Release Dueling Ads in Open-Seat Race

Posted September 15, 2008 at 6:38pm

The two candidates in the close race to replace Rep. Heather Wilson (R) began airing new TV spots Monday.

Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White (R) went up with a 30-second biographical ad that emphasizes his record of public service. It shows footage of him serving in the 82nd Airborne Division, as a street cop and as New Mexico’s secretary of public safety.

“Ready to lead,” says the narrator, as White, at the end of the ad, promises to be “an independent voice for you.”

Meanwhile, former Albuquerque City Councilor Martin Heinrich (D) is airing a humorous ad on energy policy. As a group of international runners warms up for a race along a track, Heinrich opens by saying, “George Bush and Darren White’s energy policies are a drag on America’s economy.”

As the race begins, the American runner is tethered to a heavy man in a wheelchair who is meant to represent Big Oil. Not until Heinrich cuts the cord with oversized pruning shears does the American runner prevail in the race, as the candidate pledges to promote “an Apollo Project” to find alternative energy sources.

As Heinrich notes that he approved the message, the man in the wheelchair says, “Yeah, but I don’t.”

The race to replace Wilson, who lost the Republican Senate primary in June, appears to be one of the closest in the nation. A late August poll for Roll Call found Heinrich leading White 51 percent to 46 percent.