NM-Sen: Heather Wilson Jumps in the Race

The latest news out of the New Mexico Senate race isn't entirely surprising: Heather Wilson, who represents the states' first congressional district in the House of Representatives and who is viewed by many to be Domenici's annointed heir, is jumping in the race.

Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M) will run for the New Mexico Senate seat that is expected to open up officially later Thursday when Sen. Pete Domenici (R) declares that he will not seek reelection in 2008, according to a source familiar with Wilson's decision.

Domenici has taken Wilson under his wing in recent years, and as he has gotten older, Wilson's name has topped the list of potential heirs.

[...]

[S]he also faces the same U.S. Attorney scandal baggage that would have affected Domenici's reelection campaign. Fired U.S. attorney David Iglesias said both lawmakers pressured him to be more aggressive with his corruption cases during the 2006 campaign.

To begin, it's important to underscore that this move by Wilson is not one of strenght but rather than one of necessity. Given that she currently represents a district that leans towards the Democrats and only barely won reelection in 2006 after her Democratic challenger had one of the most memorable debate flubs in recent years, her reelection was far from a foregone conclusion. Thus a run for the Senate might give her about the same chances as another run for the House.

The candidates who faced similar decisions in 2006 did not fare particularly well. In Colorado, for instance, GOP Congressman Bob Beauprez opted for a run for Governor rather than a run for reelection in his swing district, only to lose his gubernatorial bid by 15 points. Similarly in Wisconsin, Republican Rep. Mark Green ran for Governor instead of seeking another term from his swing district and lost statewide by 8 points.

That said, even as Wilson is far from a lock (even for nomination -- the more conservative Congressman Steve Pearce may also join the race for Senate) it is still important for the Democrats to run a strong candidate in the Senate race in New Mexico this cycle. To this end, number of people from New Mexico and around the rest of the country (myself included) have put forward the name of Congressman Tom Udall in an effort to draft him into the race. To accomplish this goal we have set up an ActBlue page soliciting $5 contributions to cajole him into the race as well as a Facebook group to get out the message.

I have talked a bit about Udall in recent days, as has New Mexican Adam Conner, but I'd like to just say a few words about why he would be a particularly good candidate to go up against Wilson in a general election. Wilson has been thoroughly implicated in the prosecutor purge scandal, having allegedly attempted to pressure United States Attorney David Iglesias to rush indictments against Democrats before the 2006 midterm elections in order to help her own reelection bid. Who better, then, than Tom Udall, a former Attorney General and Assistant United States Attorney to highlight this clear weakness for Wilson? Who better to speak to the importance of not inserting partisan politics into our justice system?

If you'd like to help the effort to cajole Udall into the race, make a small but meaningful $5 contribution today through ActBlue to his campaign committee, the funds from which could all be used for a Senate run.

Tags: Draft Udall, Heather Wilson, New Mexico, NM-Sen, Prosecutor Purge, Senate 2008, Tom Udall (all tags)

Comments

12 Comments

Re: NM-Sen: Heather Wilson Jumps in the Race

What are his positions on issues? What type of Democrat would he be? What type has he been?

by bruh21 2007-10-04 02:19PM | 0 recs
Re: NM-Sen: Heather Wilson Jumps in the Race

Here is his progressive punch score for 2006: 89.65 percent. To take one more vote from this year, Udall voted against the Iraq supplemental that didn't include a timeline for the withdrawal of American troops.

by Jonathan Singer 2007-10-04 02:22PM | 0 recs
Re: NM-Sen: Heather Wilson Jumps in the Race

Thank you. I'll see if I can donate some money.

by bruh21 2007-10-04 02:27PM | 0 recs
Re: NM-Sen: Heather Wilson Jumps in the Race
     Yes, but, What if we win? Will Udall be another "I'm Not Like All Those Other DFH Democrats" Western Democrat, like Ken Salazar or Dianne Feinstein? If he's not going to be a fighter for progressive Democratic positions, let's get someone who will be. This is a winnable race for a progressive Western Democrat.
     Frankly, it doesn't speak well of Udall that he has to be coaxed into making this race. The kind of Democratic fighter we need would have been out there running against Domenici this summer, champing at the bit to bring progressive change to the Senate.
by Ron Thompson 2007-10-04 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: NM-Sen: Heather Wilson Jumps in the Race

The guy has only just announced he's going to be retiring, let's give Udall and others a bit of time to process the development and then make their plans known. People may be waiting a few days out of respect (real or otherwise) for a long serving senator that's just announced his retirement rather than risking being seen as having been waiting in the wings and now swooping in the for kill.

by Quinton 2007-10-04 03:21PM | 0 recs
Re: NM-Sen: Heather Wilson Jumps in the Race

I didn't realize Pete dropped out because he has dementia.  Maybe it's not so good to make fun of him for wearing pajamas.

That said, CNN just quoted several doctors who said when they diagnose patients with the dementia he has, they always recommend that they quit working because it severely impacts judgement.

Richardson may just get to appoint a new Senator.

by Vox Populi 2007-10-04 03:11PM | 0 recs
Re: NM-Sen: Heather Wilson Jumps in the Race

I like these 2 bits from the CQ article.  

New Mexico's two other House members, Democrat Tom Udall and Republican Steve Pearce, both were said to be mulling bids for the Senate race.

Democratic Rep. Mark Udall of Colorado said his cousin, Tom Udall, has "been planning for this moment," but noted that Richardson remains a key player in the process. Udall was not expected to announce anything Thursday.

http://www.cqpolitics.com/2007/10/domeni ci_discloses_illness_as.html

It makes me confident that Udall will at least give serious consideration to this race.  I have analyzed New Mexico's congressional voting over the last two cycles, along with funding.  I think the ground, and atmosphere both favor the Democrat assuming we put forth an experienced candidate.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-10-04 03:47PM | 0 recs
Misses opportunity?

Udall's out.  This could be another missed chance--we're going to be stuck with a second-tier candidate, just as in Oregon.

I think this looks like just a one-to-two seat pickup in the Senate.

by mikelow1885 2007-10-04 05:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Misses opportunity?

Even second-tier candidates can win in this environment. The MINIMUM expectation should be +3.

by conspiracy 2007-10-05 06:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Misses opportunity?

I agree.  There are already three races (CO, VA, NH) where I'd say Dems are already leading.  Does anyone think that you actually WON'T get one of those three and also lose every one of OR, ME, & NM?  No way.

by NJIndependent 2007-10-05 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: NM-Sen: Heather Wilson Jumps in the Race

You have a top tier candidate that could walk virtually unopposed to the seat...

And he's wasting everyone's time looking for 5% in the Presidential primary...

by NJIndependent 2007-10-04 08:18PM | 0 recs
Re: NM-Sen: Heather Wilson Jumps in the Race

What exactly does "top tier candidate" mean in the netroots these days? I seem to recall that both Lamont and Tester were considered lower tier by the conventional wisdom powers that be. Is that what the netroots has sunk to now?

At least take a look at Don Wiviott. I'm telling you, he is a unique, smart and very determined candidate. I've had the chance to hang out with him, have dinner with him, hear him speak before several kinds of audiences and he is the real thing. An outside the Beltway gate crasher. He's top tier in my book. In my opinion we need more successful, caring citizens like him to run for office. He's a serious candidate. I hope you'll give him a chance. We are out here in the NM progressive community, that's for sure.

by barbwire 2007-10-04 09:33PM | 0 recs

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