New Mexico: Democrat Considering Challenge to Pearce

Pearce might get a challenge this cycle from a former state representative. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats already hold four of New Mexico’s five federal offices, but the party hopes to make a clean sweep by 2014.

Former state Rep. Joe Campos is considering a challenge to Rep. Steve Pearce, the only Republican in the state's congressional delegation, who is two terms into his second stint in Congress after losing a Senate bid in 2008.

“We’re taking a look at it, but we haven’t confirmed anything yet,” Campos said in a phone interview. “We’re just looking at it, and I would say by the end of the month we will tie everything up and see if it’s doable.”

Campos is a former Santa Rosa mayor and in 2010 was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic lieutenant governor nomination.

Pearce has never won by less than a double-digit margin in the 2nd District, which includes the southern half of New Mexico. Democrat Harry Teague won the open House seat in 2008, but Pearce defeated him to get it back in 2010.

This is the only district in the state that President Barack Obama failed to carry in either of his two elections. Still, Democrats point to the district's Hispanic-majority population — the highest percentage among New Mexico's three districts — as reason for optimism.

A Democratic operative in the state said the district will have to be won by Hispanics in Dona Ana and Chaves counties, which include the cities of Las Cruces and Roswell.

Topics: n-m-2