Senator Patty Murray, head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, isn’t “endorsing” in the New Mexico Senate primary race between state Auditor Hector Balderas and Rep. Martin Heinrich.
But, last week that didn’t stop Murray from winking and nodding furiously at Heinrich’s campaign.
From the Albuquerque Journal:
“We recruited Rep. Heinrich, and we think he’s doing a great job,” Murray said during an hourlong exchange with Washington reporters about the U.S. Senate landscape. “We have not endorsed in that race, but I think he’s doing really great and I look forward to supporting him.”
In the interest of full disclosure, I am a fan of Hector Balderas. But, putting my personal preferences aside, it’s clear that Murray is walking a tight rope. She’s attempting to signal to Heinrich’s donors (the same people she needs maxing to the DSCC) that he will have the support he needs, without irritating Balderas’ supporters. That’s attempting to have it both ways.
The problem is that Murray wishing and hoping for Heinrich is irritating, particularly given that Balderas is one of only three Hispanic Democrats running for the U.S. Senate. For the DSCC to indirectly knock any credible Democratic candidate is bad form. It is positively tone deaf to shun a credible Hispanic candidate, in a state that is currently run by a Hispanic Republican governor, where Hispanic turnout will be crucial in the general election. If I were the DSCC, I’d walk this one back.