I might be writing a bit about New Mexico politics for quite some time. That's because they are taking very seriously the possibility that Val Kilmer will be a candidate for governor.
The latest sign came on Sunday, when IATSE Local 480, which represents film and television technicians in New Mexico, endorsed Lt. Gov. Diane Denish in her bid for the governorship of the state in 2010.
The timing is significant, as Denish lines up support, made a bit more urgent with the possibility that Kilmer will wage a well-financed campaign for the Democratic nomination. In other words, get all of your ducks in a row before an unconventional candidate makes a big splash.
I talked to the local's business agent Jon Hendry, who offered words of praise for Kilmer, having worked with him on a number of productions shot in the state, but said that it came down to a matter of experience.
"Personally, I think he is a great guy," Hendry said. "If you want to have someone to have a beer, pick up chicks, he is the guy. He also was very helpful in getting [production ] incentives in our state. Val is a smart guy. But we just don't think he has the experience here that we need. If he wanted to run for lieutenant governor, and get four or eight years of experience, we would be all for him."
"I just think we have a great candidate in Diane Denish."
He said that the vote for Denish was unaninmous, with about 100 or so members of the local who were at the meeting today. Kilmer did not approach them asking for their support, he said.