NM-Sen: Pete Domenici to Retire
by Jonathan Singer, Wed Oct 03, 2007 at 12:53:01 PM EDT
With "Pajamas" Pete Domenici's approval rating in his home state of New Mexico falling all the way down to 41 percent last month from 64 percent back in February, a lot of folks began to wonder, Just when is the senior Republican Senator, who is up for reelection this cycle, going to retire? Chris Cillizza has the answer to this burning question.
Veteran Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) is expected to announce tomorrow that he will retire from the Senate in 2008, according to several informed sources, a decision that further complicates an already difficult playing field for Republicans next November.
Domenici has struggled with health problems over the last several years and has been dogged by questions about the role he may have played in the firing of U.S. Attorney David C. Iglesias in Albuquerque. As a result, he had been long been rumored as a potential retirement. He joins Republican Sens. John Warner (Va.), Chuck Hagel (Neb.) and Wayne Allard (Colo.) on the sidelines for 2008.
As I've said before, it's right time for Congressman Tom Udall, who already has one cousin in the Senate and will soon have another, to jump into this race. Udall already has a decent amount of money to form a Senate campaign -- more than $715,000 as of the end of July, and likely more now -- and would be a formidable candidate. Almost regardless of whether he is the Democratic nominee or another strong candidate emerges, this race now moves into the top-5 pickup opportunities for Senate Democrats this cycle.
More to come as this story develops...
Update [2007-10-3 17:24:40 by Jonathan Singer]: I have set up an ActBlue page soliciting support for an effort to Draft Congressman Tom Udall into this race. If you want to help ensure that New Mexico sends a new progressive voice to the United States Senate next fall, make a $5 contribution through this ActBlue page to Udall's House campaign committee, the funds from which can be directly transferred to a Senate campaign. The amount of money is not what we're looking for -- it's the number of contributions. So make your $5 contribution today to Draft Tom Udall for Senate.