It sounds like Congressman Tom Udall is paying heed to the countless activists in New Mexico and around the country seeking to draft him into the race for the United States Senate in New Mexico. Michael Coleman has the scoop for the Albuquerque Journal (and I'm hearing the same story backchannel as well).
I just got a call from someone very knowledgable about N.M. Democratic politics who says Rep. Tom Udall's people are calling the party's heavy hitters in the state this morning to inform them he is reconsidering a run for the U.S. Senate.
The source stressed that the congressman has not made an ironclad decision to run but wants people to know he's giving Sen. Pete Domenici's soon-to-be open seat a serious second look.
Shortly after Domenici announced his retirement on Oct.4, Udall said he would not seek the seat, citing his growing stature in the U.S. House and a new seat on the appropriations committee.
But a rapidly growing "Draft Udall" movement online, as well as major arm-twisting from the national Democratic elite (including Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Chuck Schumer), has convinced the congressman to reconsider.
Incidentally, I also heard yesterday from separate - but equally reliable sources - that Gov. Bill Richardson called Udall yesterday to tell him he DOES NOT plan to run for the Senate and would stay out of Udall's way if the congressman decides to jump in.
Now that Udall is reconsidering his decision to not run for the Senate, it's time to press on with the Draft Udall movement -- and press on hard. Head over to the Draft Udall Act Blue page and make a $5 contribution today to send Congressman Udall a clear signal that you want to see him run and head over to DraftUdall.com to find other ways to get involved.
More on this as it develops...
Update [2007-11-1 13:38:46 by Jonathan Singer]: Head over to the petition page right now to make your voice heard.
Update [2007-11-1 14:37:44 by Jonathan Singer]: Big time New Mexico blogger Heath Haussamen is on the story:
U.S. Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M., is reconsidering running for U.S. Senate, a knowledgeable source confirmed today.
Alex Flores DraftUdall.com has already raised more than $1,000 through ActBlue in small contributions for a Udall Senate run, and supporters have pledged another $5,000 through the site if he enters the race.
The push in Washington and the grassroots, progressive support in New Mexico has apparently had an effect, and Flores said he is pleased with todays news that Udall is reconsidering.
It looks like the one person in New Mexico we were hoping would hear us got the message, he said. Tom Udall can count on the netroots to follow through and support him all the way to the U.S. Senate.
Congrats to MyDDer Alex Flores for doing a lot of the legwork on this effort and running DraftUdall.com. And I'm hearing that we may be seeing and hearing more things from this effort soon...
Update [2007-11-1 17:33:6 by Jonathan Singer]:Jim Baca, former Albuquerque mayor and current New Mexico Natural Resource Trustee for Governor Bill Richardson (among other things), blogs as follows on the ramifications of this news:
Winners on Udall's entry would be: Udall himself, the American people and New Mexicans, the Democratic party, America's journey back to status as a respected member of the international community, the environment and western public lands.
Losers on Udall's entry would be: Marty Chavez, the Republican Party, neocons, and the oil and gas industry(my favorite).