I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
CD2: Pearce headed back to DC
Republican Steve Pearce appears headed back to Washington as returns show Pearce with 53.9 percent of the vote at 10:10 p.m. Tuesday.
The Democratic incumbent, Harry Teague, called Steve Pearce to congratulate him Tuesday night and told supporters that representing southern New Mexico was the “greatest honor of his life.”
Though for a time the race looked like it could be close, Pearce began to pick up support from conservative areas of the district and held Harry Teague to just over 55 percent of the vote in Doña Ana County, the largest Democratic stronghold in the district.
Teague, a freshman Democrat from Hobbs, rode a wave of Democratic voter enthusiasm in 2008, winning with 55 percent of the vote. But with the economy still a major worry, and President Obama’s approval hovering around the floorboards, the 2010 election promised to be much tougher for Teague.
Pearce had given up his seat in the U.S. House after Sen. Pete Domenici’s retirement. He defeated then Rep. Heather Wilson in the primary, but he was defeated by then-Rep. Tom Udall in the general.
Pearce announced his candidacy in July of last year and cited Teague’s vote on the controversial cap and trade bill as the reason why. Pearce hammered Teague on the issue, calling it a vote for “job-killing taxes” throughout the campaign.
Pearce, like Teague, made his money in the oil and gas industry of southern New Mexico.
The vote even ended up in an unofficial boycott of Teague’s business according to Politico. Politico reported that the boycott cost Teague’s business up to $15 million. Late last year, Teague announced that he was divesting himself of business interests in three of his oil companies.
The race attracted quite a bit of national attention, and was long considered one of the House seats most likely to change parties.
Teague did break with the Democrats and vote against the health care reform bill that passed Congress last year, saying it didn’t do “enough to rein in insurance companies” and that he was concerned about the cost of the bill.
Pearce has promised to work to repeal health care reform.
Throughout the campaign, Pearce was dogged by statements made while a member of Congress on privatizing social security. Though Pearce denied support for social security, news stories from 2005 and 2007 showed that Pearce supported at least part of George W. Bush’s failed plan to privatize social security.
Outside groups spent millions on the race
Pearce raised more money than Teague since entering the race, but Teague’s head start in fundraising helped him stay competitive on the fundraising front. Teague was also aided by outside groups. In all, the groups spent more than $1.5 million opposing Pearce while groups spent $1 million opposing Teague.
The largest spenders were the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, which spent $770,000 opposing Pearce, and the National Republican Congressional Committee, which spent $550,000 opposing Teague. Most of the money spent in the race was for advertisements either on TV or the radio.
Teague was dealt a blow weeks before the election when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced it would cutt back on the amount of money that it would spend in the district opposing Pearce. The DCCC shifted its resources to New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District to aid Martin Heinrich.
All results from the Secretary of State’s unofficial numbers as of 10:10 p.m. on Tuesday.