Pearce undecided on Senate run

February 23, 2011 • Local News

Congressman Steve Pearce, R-N.M., says he has yet to make a decision on whether to run for Jeff Bingaman’s, DN. M., soon-to-be-vacant seat in 2012, but that it’s something that he’s taking “a serious” 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 nation’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 [auth] more pressing matters in the coming months are waiting for him on the House floor.

“We haven’t ruled it out, but we haven’t ruled it in, either,” he said. “Right now we’re just paying attention to very difficult issues. … Let’s go do our job for a month or two and let’s get through these very difficult hurdles of the debt ceiling (and) … budget. “We’re just not saying ‘no’ or ‘yes’ haphazardly, so we’re thinking about it seriously but not concentrating the ef fort right now,” he said.

Pearce said he was “stunned” when he heard Bingaman’s announcement last week that the lawmaker wouldn’t seek a sixth term in the upper house. In 2008, Pearce lost a bid for former Sen. Pete Domenici’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. “The problem in a state like New Mexico is you don’t have many people with 90 percent name ID,” he said. “If you don’t have the name ID, that’s a problem (and) that’s additional funds you have to get, on top of the race.”

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. “Let’s take time to say thanks to the senator for his service,” he said. “Let’s let him take a victory lap or two.”

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