Udall confirms Senate run; Wiviott to seek House seat
Posted 11/10/2007 07:14:00 PM
The chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M., confirmed today that the congressman will run for the Senate seat being vacated next year by Pete Domenici.
The confirmation of Udall’s candidacy comes a day after I reported that Udall had told a number of Democratic insiders he’s running for Senate.
“He’s definitely running,” Tom Nagle, Udall’s chief of staff, told the Associated Press today.
Nagle said Udall plans to make a formal announcement during Congress’ Thanksgiving recess.
Udall will face Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chávez and lesser-known Democrat Leland Lehrman in a Senate primary. While Wiviott and Hannan said they’ll leave the race, Lehrman said he won’t back Udall’s candidacy because Udall doesn’t support impeachment proceedings against Vice President Dick Cheney.
“Although his votes on the environment and civil liberties make us all proud, his Washingtonian willingness to avoid tough issues means that he cannot be trusted with the leadership role a
Wiviott said Udall is a friend, in addition to being his congressman. He will defer to him in the Senate race, but said he plans, in running for Udall’s House seat, to stay in the fight to end the
“You have to have the courage of your convictions. That’s why I started in this. That’s why I remain in it,” Wiviott said. “I’m committed to either raise or spend whatever it takes to win (the House race).”
Hannan has said for weeks that he wouldn’t run against Udall, and said on Friday that, if Udall was running, he would “immediately withdraw from the race.”
Hannan once worked for the late U.S. Rep. Mo Udall, D-Ariz. and an uncle of Tom Udall.
‘Too important not to run’
Tom Udall originally said he would not run for the Senate seat, in part because he holds a powerful spot on the House Appropriations Committee. But
“He thinks it’s too important not to run for the Senate,” Nagle told the Associated Press. “A lot of the good things we’ve been able to do (in the House) don’t go anywhere in the Senate.”
Alex Flores, a former Udall intern who started DraftUdall.com, a Web site that helped push Udall to reconsider, said he was excited by today’s announcement.
“This is a great day for
The group has already secured pledges of $30,000 for Udall’s Senate run. At the end of September, Udall had about $800,000 on-hand for his House re-election campaign, and he can transfer all of it to his Senate campaign.
Wiviott won’t be the only one seeking to replace Udall in the House. As many as a dozen Democrats had been seriously considering running for his House seat if he decided to run for Senate. Expect a number of candidate announcements in the coming days.
Udall campaign releases internal polling
The Udall campaign also released today internal polling that confirms what previous polls have shown: At this stage in the contest, Udall has a strong advantage over the Republicans in the race, U.S. Reps. Steve Pearce and Heather Wilson, while Chávez is running tight races against both.
The internal poll found Udall with a 16-point advantage over
In a poll of a potential primary, Udall had the support of 50 percent of likely Democratic primary voters, while Chávez had 30 percent and Wiviott had 2 percent.
The poll, conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin and Associates between Oct. 23 and 27, surveyed 500 likely general election voters and 439 likely Democratic primary voters. The margin of error for the general-election survey was 4.3 percent, while it was 4.6 percent for the primary survey.
“The results are clear in demonstrating that Tom Udall is the stronger candidate for U.S. Senate,” the polling company concludes. “His considerable popularity among voters across the political spectrum gives him strong leads in the general election, regardless of Republican opponent. In the Democratic primary, Udall would need to be considerably outspent for Chávez to overcome Udall’s popularity and his own negatives.”