“Someone’s Knocking At The Door, Someone’s Ringing The Bell, Do Me A Favor Joe, And Let Them In!”

With apologies to Paul McCartney and WINGS:

Someone’s knockin’ at the door
Somebody’s ringin’ the bell
Someone’s knockin’ at the door
Somebody’s ringin’ the bell
Do me a favor Joe
Open the door and let ’em in!

Sister Debra, brother Tom,
Martin Heinrich, and My Michelle
Maybe Timmy, what the hell!

Do me a favor Joe
Open the door and let ’em in, ooh yeah Joe, let ’em in!

One week to the day of the November 3 election, it is being reported by local and national media sources that at least 4 of New Mexico’s top elected officials have expressed an interest or have made it know that they want to serve in the Cabinet of President Elect Joe Biden. Those being mentioned are:


On November 9, the news website Axios reported that after Joe Biden did not do as good as was expected with Hispanic voters in some states, such as Florida, Democrats are urging Biden to nominate several Latinos to high-profile Cabinet positions. Among those in contention are New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for Health and Human Services.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is the biggest name in New Mexico politics that is being mentioned to be appointed as the Cabinet Secretary of the Health and Human Services Department. Lujan Grisham is one of the co-chairs of President Elect Biden’s transition team. Further, Lujan Grisham’s chief of staff, John Bingaman and son of former United States Senator Jeff Bingaman, took a leave of absence to assist with the Biden Presidential transition team.

If Governor Lujan Grisham is in fact named to a cabinet position, Lt. Gov. Howie Morales would assume the office of governor for the remainder of Lujan Grisham’s term, which ends in 2022. If that were to happen, Morales would likely seek election as Governor in 2022. Morales will likely have stiff competition for the Democratic nomination for Governor. Attorney General Hector Balderas, who is term limited, is said to be now looking at running for Governor if Lujan Grisham steps down. Balderas already has upwards of $700,000 in his campaign account.


According to sources, New Mexico’s Senior Senator Tom Udall, who did not seek reelection to his U.S. Senate seat and who is leaving the Senate come January 1, 2021, is actively seeking to become Cabinet Secretary for the U.S. Interior Department. Tom Udall’s late father, Stewart Udall, served as interior secretary for eight years in the 1960s under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.

Throughout his career as a New Mexico Congressman and United State Senator, Udall has been very active in environmental and federal lands issues, conservation issues and issues facing Native American rights. When he announced his retirement from the United States Senate, Udall said that although he was retiring from the Senate he intended to find “new ways” to serve New Mexico and the country.


New Mexico’s Junior Senator Martin Heinrich is up for election to a third term in 2022 and is also being said to be very interested in becoming Cabinet Secretary for the U.S. Interior Department. Like Udall, Heinrich has been very active in environmental and federal lands issues and water conservation issues.

Sources are also saying becoming the Secretary of Interior is not the only option being considered by Heinrich. One source has reported that Heinrich recently registered his two sons with the Albuquerque Public Schools and is said to be looking at running for the 2022 Democratic nomination for Governor if in fact Lt. Governor Morales ends up in the Governor’s chair. If Heinrich wants to move his family back to New Mexico, it’s a signal he has become tired of the Washington DC life. A 3 way race for Governor in 2022 between Morales, Balderas and Heinrich will no doubt be a slugfest and result in ending the political careers of two.

Another wrinkle in the political intrigue is the fact if Heinrich is tapped to serve in Biden’s cabinet, the Governor, wether its Michell Lujan Grisham or Howie Morales, would appoint his replacement to serve the remaining two years of his term also causing more dominos to fall with a stampede of candidates running in 2022 for the open US Senate Seat.


Congresswoman Debra Haaland, who was just elected to a second term to the US Congress, is also being mentioned as a possible appointment to a Biden Cabinet. Haaland is a Laguna Pueblo member and former San Felipe Pueblo tribal administrator. Biden would make history if he were to choose Haaland to be the first Native American to serve in a presidential Cabinet. Sources have also confirmed that many Native American Tribes throughout the country are taking a major interest in promoting Haaland for a cabinet position, especially those tribes that are involved with Indian Gaming interests. According to POLITICO magazine, Haaland is also on Biden’s short list for Interior Secretary.

Congresswoman Haaland had this to say about the rumors:

“It is notable that our country has finally reached the point where having the first Native American Cabinet secretary is a serious consideration and there are people putting it down on paper. … New Mexico is my top priority, and I am open to opportunities where I can best serve our state, Indian Country, and our country at large and pushing the Biden climate plan.”

If Haaland were to be appointed to a Cabinet position by Biden, a special election would have to be held for her Albuquerque-based 1st Congressional District seat, no doubt resulting in numerous candidates for the job.


This is what you call knocking on the door of opportunity as hard as you can to get someone’s attention. All 4 seem to be knocking themselves out to get out of New Mexico with 3 not wanting to even finish the terms they were elected to serve by the people of New Mexico. Perhaps they know just how bad things have gotten in New Mexico and now is the time to get out of town before its way too late to continue with their political careers.

This is the very type of posturing by all 3 of our most respected elected officials that give ambitious politicians the label of “political opportunist” as being more concerned about themselves and not the people who elected them to serve in the first place. At least Tom Udall is finishing his term, but he too has had a big streak of being opportunistic running for congress first in Albuquerque when Steve Schiff ran, then running for Attorney General, then running for Congress again then running for the US Senate.

When you run for an elected office, you make a commitment to voters to at least finish the term you were elected to. Otherwise, as a candidate, you were misleading voters and you become an opportunist, especially after you have run around for almost a full year, spending literally millions in donations from others to get elected and telling every one to vote for you and it is the job you want. The Governor spent $10 million to get elected, now she wants to leave mid term. Haaland spent millions to get re elected to a second term and has not even been sworn in to her second term and now wants move on. Heinrich spent up to $9 Million to get re elected 4 years ago and now wants to leave with 2 years left in his term. New Mexico needs all 4 where they are now and they should finish thier terms and only then move on.

Now that APD is once again in a meltdown including a scathing DOJ monitors report that said APD is on the “brink of catastrophe” and unable to police itself and time card fraud by police officers. no one should be surprised if Tim Keller decides being Mayor is not all the fun, games and adoring attention he thought it would be. Keller could easily decide and to run to replace Haaland, Lujan Grisham or even Heinrich. Keller also has a reputation of leaving in mid term to run for another office and if he is elected to a second term as Mayor on Novemeber 5, 2021, he could easily turn around and run for a higher office in 2022 with the primary being in June, 2022. When Keller was a State Senator he left mid term to run for State Auditor, and when he was State Auditor, he left mid term to run for Mayor, all within the span of 5 years.

“Someone knocking at your door, someone’s ringing your bell, do me a favor Joe, open the door and let ’em in, ooh yeah Joe, let ’em in!”

This entry was posted in Opinions by . Bookmark the permalink.


Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.