Udall Hits the Road in New Mexico; Chamber Backs Tinsley

Posted August 13, 2008 at 3:34pm

Rep. Tom Udall (D), running for an open New Mexico Senate seat against fellow Rep. Steve Pearce (R), this week kicked off a two-week road trip that is scheduled to take him to every corner of the Land of Enchantment before he departs for the Democratic National Convention in Denver later this month.

Udall’s 22-city campaign swing includes a stop in the southeastern New Mexico community of Hobbs, Pearce’s hometown. Beginning Thursday, Pearce is set to hit the road for a similar two-week, statewide campaign swing that includes a stop in Santa Fe, Udall’s stronghold.

Pearce and Udall are vying for the seat being vacated by Sen. Pete Domenici (R).

Elsewhere in New Mexico, businessman Ed Tinsley (R) has been endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over former Lea County Commissioner Harry Teague (D) in the race to succeed Pearce in the House.

Tinsley is a wealthy restaurateur, and Teague has a background in the oil industry and is also personally wealthy.

“We believe that [Tinsley’s] election to the U.S. House will help produce sustained economic growth and promote America’s competitiveness in the World Markets,” Tom Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement released by the Tinsley campaign.

Some members of New Mexico’s business community have expressed dismay that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce did not consult with them before making this endorsement.

The Teague campaign charged that Tinsley had previously opposed increasing the minimum wage, saying that if that’s what it takes to get the chamber’s endorsement, it can do without the group’s support.

“Harry Teague is an exemplary small-business owner who pays his workers good wages,” Teague campaign spokesman Alex Cole said.