SANTA FE — Author and businessman Alan Webber entered the race for governor of New Mexico on Monday, becoming the fourth Democrat in the field.
Webber, 65, of Santa Fe, is the only candidate who does not hold public office.
He started Fast Company, a business magazine, in 1995 and later sold it. He also is the coauthor of three books on business, including "Rules of Thumb: How to Stay Productive and Inspired Even in the Most Turbulent of Times."
From Santa Fe, Webber has written stinging commentaries about Martinez and a member of her administration, education secretary-designate Hanna Skandra.
In a column last March, Webber said Martinez's ideas made her sound "like the Sarah Palin of the Southwest."
He described a speech by Martinez this way: "She prefaced her remarks by saying that New Mexico was at an inflection point. That we needed to think outside of the box. That we needed new and innovative solutions. Then she announced her economic agenda: Cut taxes. Relax regulations. Build new highways.
"If that sounds like a page out of the 1950s Republican economic policy playbook, you're right."
Minutes after a story about Webber's candidacy for governor was published on the Texas-New Mexico Newspapers website, one of Martinez's spokesmen criticized him as out of touch with New Mexico residents.
"Alan Webber represents the extreme fringe of the Democratic Party, and his radical ideology, which has even included attempts to eliminate car use, is way out of step with mainstream New Mexicans," said Danny Diaz of Martinez's camp.
Diaz was referring to a memo Webber wrote in 1971 when he was an aide to a city commissioner in Portland, Ore. Bikeportland.com reproduced the six-page memo this year, saying it was intended "to stimulate discussion on the role of the automobile" in Downtown Portland.
But Diaz cited the Portland website as evidence that Webber's views had not changed in the 42 years since he wrote the memo.
"The man who ... proposed that Portland consider an anti-congestion fee, car-free streets, a citywide bikeway network, a station-based public bike sharing system and bike-specific traffic signals stopped through town last weekend and said something else interesting. Alan Webber ... still believes in the ideas he held back then," Bikeportland wrote.
Webber is a native of St. Louis and a graduate of Amherst College in Massachusetts. Before cofounding Fast Company, he was managing editor of the Harvard Business Review.
He has never held elective office, and is the only candidate in the field who enters the race for governor as an outsider to state politics.
Martinez was district attorney of Dona Ana County before being elected as the nation's first female Hispanic governor in 2010.
Webber's competitors for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination also are elected officials. They are state Attorney General Gary King and state Sens. Linda Lopez of Albuquerque and Howie Morales of Silver City.
King, 59, announced his candidacy in 2012. Lopez, 49, entered the governor's race last spring. Morales, 40, and Webber joined the competition this month.
Webber spent Monday on social media forums and a series of individual interviews with reporters in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
Milan Simonich, Santa Fe Bureau chief of Texas-New Mexico Newspapers, can be reached at 505-820-6898 and email@example.com. Follow him @MilansNMreport on Twitter. His blog is at nmcapitolreport.com.