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New Mexico: Wilson, Pearce Battle for Endorsements, TV Ads

Reps. Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce, battling for the GOP Senate nomination in the June 3 primary, continue to unveil dueling endorsements in the midst of accelerating ad campaigns.

On Sunday, the Albuquerque Journal, the state’s largest newspaper, endorsed Wilson; on Monday, the Congresswoman announced the support of 200 military veterans as a part of her “Veterans for Heather Wilson” coalition. Wilson is an Air Force veteran.

On Friday, Wilson went up with her second television ad of the campaign, attempting to draw a distinction between herself and Pearce on key local issues. The ad is slated to run in every television market in the state.

“New Mexicans deserve to have a Senator who won’t put a narrow, ideological agenda over the needs of the state,” Wilson said in a statement released by her campaign.

Meanwhile, Pearce last week announced endorsements from the Los Alamos Monitor newspaper and the Family Research Council, a group that promotes conservative positions on social issues like marriage and abortion.

Also last week, the Club for Growth announced that it had bought a “major ad buy” for Pearce on statewide broadcast and cable television.

“Most Republicans in the House recognized the SCHIP bill for the big government bonanza that it was,” Club for Growth President Pat Toomey said in a statement about the 30-second spot. “But Heather Wilson joined with [Sen.] Hillary [Rodham] Clinton [D-N.Y.] and [Speaker] Nancy Pelosi [D-Calif.] in supporting higher taxes, more government spending, and government-run health care.”

Pearce and Wilson are running for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Pete Domenici (R). Rep. Tom Udall has a clear path to the Democratic nomination.

— David M. Drucker

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