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Doña Ana County Commissioner Bill McCamley (D) announced last week that he wants to challenge three-term Rep. Steve Pearce (R).

“Steve Pearce has worked hard to represent the current administration and not the people of Southern New Mexico,” McCamley said in a statement. “I will work hard to bring back the voice of the 2nd District to Capitol Hill.”

Although McCamley focused his rhetoric on Pearce, who has won three fairly convincing victories despite the fact that enrolled Democrats outnumber Republicans in the 2nd district, some political observers speculate that McCamley is running for Congress because he believes that Pearce will vacate the seat soon — either to run for Senate in 2008, if Sen. Pete Domenici (R) retires, or for a gubernatorial run in 2010.

McCamley, who received a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University, is just 29 years old. In addition to his duties as a county commissioner, McCamley is executive director of the New Mexico Rural Economic Development Response Council and teaches government classes at New Mexico State University.

Retired minister Al Kissling, the 2006 Democratic nominee against Pearce, is expected to seek the Democratic nomination next year. State Rep. Joseph Cervantes (D) also is seen as a possible candidate.

— Josh Kurtz

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