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 Washington and New Mexico pressured him to reconsider. Many have been unexcited about Chávez’s candidacy, in part because he is disliked by progressives and in part because polls have shown Udall as much stronger than Chávez against both Republicans in the race, U.S. Reps. Steve Pearce and Heather Wilson.

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.

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At 3:04 PM, November 09, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a perfect scenario for the Democratic Party of New Mexico.

Udall takes the Senate seat, in the 1st District, Martin Heinrich is our new Congressman, in the 2nd, Joseph Cervantes wins a tough race.

Now we need to find a strong candidate for the 3rd District, even though the north is a strong hold for the Dems, we need a someone to fill the seat.

A clean sweep for the Dems. I wonder if Heather or Steve will rethink their decisions, especially Steve.

At 3:13 PM, November 09, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a tremendous loss for the Northern section of the State, and now a contested primary. What a shame.

At 3:20 PM, November 09, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its time for Marty and the others to step aside and let Tom beat the bejeepers out of the last republican standing. He can do it, and the others dont give us the BEST shot. This is about the state of affairs nationally, and truly globally. Please recognize that it is about the bigger picture, and we must not take a chance with losing.

Speaking of which, maybe we can get a 2fer on the reconsiderations...C'mon Peter Wirth, go for it!

At 3:44 PM, November 09, 2007, Anonymous Michael Swickard said...

I am ever so slightly concerned that New Mexico will have only one person with seniority out of five members of congress. Still, it gets new blood to Washington, more to the way that our founding fathers thought our legislators should not be institutions serving decades.

I do object to the above notion forum entry that it will be great to have all Democrats in leadership in the state, all Democrats in our delegation and all Democrats in Congress. A one party rule means the end of democracy in our nation. I wouldn’t like it with either party completely in charge. I like balance. In fact, I always like the Executive branch to be a different party than the leadership in Congress. That would certainly help New Mexico in that the Legislature has been one party rule for seven decades, the judiciary has been one party rule for seven decades and the executive is now that same party. How can the balance of powers work when they are all Democrats? I think this is what the Founding Fathers feared about political parties, that the party bosses would remove individual thought and a few people would rule instead of many..

I interviewed Tom Udall for my talk show and was very pleased with his grasp of the issues, much like Cervantes and, I might add, Pearce. All of them understand the problems; the solutions they have for those problems are different and that difference drives our choices.

At 4:10 PM, November 09, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really cant see Udall appealing to Southern NM voters! He also has not had to work hard on a campaign in quite some time!

At 4:12 PM, November 09, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said Mr. Swickard!

At 5:27 PM, November 09, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

THE RACE IS ON! New Mexico will forever be changed, the north and south will go after it!

At 6:29 PM, November 09, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Swickard should have his own blog.

At 7:39 PM, November 09, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good riddance for the people of Northern New Mexico! Udall constantly voted against the interests of Northern New Mexico by consistantly siding with environmental groups, voting against Los Alamos National Lab funding and costing many hard-working middle class citizens jobs. He will be exposed for what he is in the general election when Pearce or Wilson wins. The polls show him winning with a large margin, but it will change when his voting record is shown. He's no saint. Time for the people of Northern New Mexico to get a real representative!

At 7:40 PM, November 09, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harry Montoya for US Congress! Go Harry!!

At 10:10 PM, November 09, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its about time. Udall can do good down south. I will support him.
as for cervantes, he dont have a chance in that district. sorry to say. he would lose about 55 to 45.
I think Mccamly could win. It would be closer, but in southeast nm, they dont care for hispanic cantidates.

At 6:23 AM, November 10, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:...Mr. Swickard should have his own blog.

I heartily agree. Then I would not have to be exposed to him while reading this one. Buit if he had his own Blog you can be sure he wouldn't allow Dems or moderate Repubs the same chance to have their say as Heath gives him here.

Do you notice that Mr Swickard seems to be hinting that he may scurry off the sinking Pearce ship?

Ron Nesler


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