Pearce to Seek Comeback in New Mexico’s 2nd District

Posted July 6, 2009 at 12:14pm

Former Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), who gave up his seat last year to run for Senate, announced Monday that he wants his old job back.

Pearce’s decision sets up what should be a competitive — and bloody — battle with his successor, Rep. Harry Teague (D).

“For the past half year, I have stood by and hoped for the best for our state and country,— Pearce said in a statement. “I had hoped Harry Teague would look out for the hard working people of New Mexico.

“Sadly while I hoped for the best, Harry Teague embraced a reckless set of policies that directly jeopardize our economy and threatens future generations. He went to Washington and quickly voted for massive amounts of wasteful spending, loading up on pork barrel projects and radically increasing the size of government.—

Pearce’s statement comes on the heels of a radio ad campaign by the National Republican Congressional Committee in recent days, whacking Teague for voting for a climate change bill that Pearce labeled “job killing.—

Since losing the 2008 Senate election to now-Sen. Tom Udall (D), Pearce, who spent three terms in Congress, has pondered whether to try to get his old seat back or run for governor in 2010.

The 2nd district, which covers the southern half of New Mexico, is conservative territory, though it has more registered Democrats than Republicans. The district gave 50 percent of its vote to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the 2008 White House election, and until Teague’s victory last year had not sent a Democrat to Congress since 1978.

But Teague is a conservative Democrat — and, like Pearce, a wealthy veteran of the oil industry — so that should blunt some of the criticism Republicans hurl his way on the climate change vote.

Additionally, Teague shares a political base with Pearce in the heavily conservative eastern part of the district, meaning the race should be extremely close.