New Mexico: Domenici Takes Sides in Race to Replace Wilson

Posted January 14, 2008 at 6:41pm

Sen. Pete Domenici (R), long Rep. Heather Wilson’s (R) patron in the 1st district, has thrown his political weight behind Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White (R), who hopes to succeed the Congresswoman in the Albuquerque-area seat.

White faces a primary against state Sen. Joseph Carraro (R), though most political analysts in New Mexico and Washington, D.C., believe he is the favorite in that contest.

Perhaps acknowledging the tough race ahead of White in the Democratic-leaning 1st district should he win the GOP primary, Domenici in a fundraising letter mailed earlier this month implored potential donors to help “keep this seat in common-sense, result-oriented control.”

“Just because I’m retiring from the Senate doesn’t mean I will stop caring about the future of New Mexico,” Domenici wrote in the letter. “I urge you to show Darren your strong early support so he’ll have the means to run an aggressive district wide campaign.

“His opposition is desperate to gain control of this seat (and have been for years!) and will spend a ridiculous amount of money to defeat Darren.”

Wilson, who is vacating her seat to run for Senate, has retained her seat only after successively tough campaigns that made her a top Democratic target since she was first elected in a 1998 special election.
— David M. Drucker