Udall has decided to run for Senate
Posted 11/09/2007 02:28:00 PM
U.S. Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M., has decided that he will run for the Senate seat being vacated by Pete Domenici next year.
Udall has called a number of Democratic Party insiders this week, including at least some county party chairs, to inform them of his decision, reliable sources confirmed. A Udall spokesperson could not be reached for comment.
The sources didn’t know when Udall plans to publicly announce his candidacy. Udall said at Saturday’s meeting of the Democratic Party’s state central committee that he would announce his decision within two weeks.
He’ll face Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chávez in a Senate primary. Three lesser-known Democrats – Don Wiviott, Jim Hannan and Leland Lehrman – are currently in the Senate race, but at least some of them are expected to reconsider now that Udall is entering the race. Some will push Wiviott to instead run for Udall’s House seat.
In giving up his House seat to run for Senate, Udall will leave behind a spot on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. Udall originally said in October that he would not run for Senate, in part because of his appropriations seat, but announced last week that he was reconsidering.
That came after a number of Democrats in
Two polls have shown Udall with a 17- to 18-point lead over Pearce and Wilson, while several polls have shown Chávez running tight races against both.
But as reported today by Steve Terrell of The Santa Fe New Mexican, Udall has his own potential liability in a statewide Senate race. Republicans are certain to throw the “liberal” label at him, and Chávez has already done so, saying he wouldn’t be concerned about Udall entering the race because he’s “so far to the left.”
At the end of September, Udall had about $800,000 on hand for his House re-election campaign. All of that can be transferred to his Senate campaign.
Udall’s decision will lead to a scramble among Democrats seeking to replace him. As many as a dozen have been seriously considering running for his House seat if he decided to run for Senate.