Pearce says ABQ visit isn’t about Senate race
U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce will travel out of his district on Friday to speak to a tea party group in Albuquerque, but his spokesman says that shouldn’t be taken as a sign that Southern New Mexico’s congressman is gearing up for a U.S. Senate run.
“He was invited to attend, and it fit into his schedule – he’ll be in the northern part of the 2nd District for much of that day.”
Asked if the visit is a sign that Pearce is testing the waters for a possible Senate run or simply a matter of Pearce being in the neighborhood, Layer said, “just a matter of being in the neighborhood.”
You can see from this map of New Mexico’s congressional districts that Pearce’s – the 2nd District in Southern New Mexico – stretches north to includes areas south and west of Albuquerque.
Albuquerque itself is located in the 1st Congressional District and currently represented by Democrat Martin Heinrich.
Pearce, a tea party favorite, said in mid-February that he would “take a serious look” at the Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Jeff Bingaman. Here’s the last statement Pearce released about the race, in early March:
“Politics can wait. The business at hand – addressing devastating unemployment rates, obstacles to small business, and a looming debt crisis – cannot.”
“Right now, I am working hard at the job that the people of New Mexico sent me to Congress to do. The filing deadline is still nine months away, and I have plenty of time to make decisions. I’ll reach out to my supporters, but now, for New Mexicans, the stakes are higher than personal ambition.”
However, Pearce is plagued by the fact that he was trounced in a Senate race in 2008 by Democrat Tom Udall. In addition, he represents a district that favors his political views, and many suspect redistricting later this year will make the 2nd District even more favorable to Pearce, which could encourage him to stay put.
On the Republican side, former U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson and two lesser-known candidates – Greg Sowards and William S. English – have entered the Senate race. Lt. Gov. John Sanchez is seriously considering entering the race and expected by many to run.
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