Congressman Steve Pearce, R-N.M., says he has yet to make a decision on whether to run for Jeff Bingamanâ€™s, DN. M., soon-to-be-vacant seat in 2012, but that itâ€™s something that heâ€™s taking â€œa seriousâ€ look into.
The federal lawmaker made the comments following a town hall meeting at the Artesia Chamber of Commerce Tuesday night, where he discussed the challenges and obstacles of the nationâ€™s debt and job creation, that currently face policy makers in Washington.
Pearce said he has not given too much thought on the issue and that more pressing matters in the coming months are waiting for him on the House floor.
â€œWe havenâ€™t ruled it out, but we havenâ€™t ruled it in, either,â€ he said. â€œRight now weâ€™re just paying attention to very difficult issues. … Letâ€™s go do our job for a month or two and letâ€™s get through these very difficult hurdles of the debt ceiling (and) … budget. â€œWeâ€™re just not saying â€˜noâ€™ or â€˜yesâ€™ haphazardly, so weâ€™re thinking about it seriously but not concentrating the ef fort right now,â€ he said.
Pearce said he was â€œstunnedâ€ when he heard Bingamanâ€™s announcement last week that the lawmaker wouldnâ€™t seek a sixth term in the upper house. In 2008, Pearce lost a bid for former Sen. Pete Domeniciâ€™s seat against Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M. He recently won election against incumbent Harry Teague, for his former House of Representatives position.
Despite not having an answer on whether he will enter another Senate race, Pearce noted certain obstacles with running for the position. â€œThe problem in a state like New Mexico is you donâ€™t have many people with 90 percent name ID,â€ he said. â€œIf you donâ€™t have the name ID, thatâ€™s a problem (and) thatâ€™s additional funds you have to get, on top of the race.â€
The lawmaker added that in addition to focusing his attention to House matters, the decision on whether to run is still too early for other reasons. â€œLetâ€™s take time to say thanks to the senator for his service,â€ he said. â€œLetâ€™s let him take a victory lap or two.â€