New Mexico: Wilson Eyes Political Comeback Next Year

Posted January 5, 2009 at 5:54pm

Former Rep. Heather Wilson (R), whose 10-year Congressional tenure ended this week after losing the GOP Senate primary in June, told an Albuquerque TV station over the weekend that she is contemplating a gubernatorial run in 2010.

Interviewed by KOB-TV, Wilson said her views on taxation and economic development would resonate with statewide voters in a general election. Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, who has about $2 million in her campaign account, is the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination next year.

Ironically, if Wilson runs, she could wind up in a rematch with ex-Rep. Steve Pearce (R), who defeated her in the Senate primary before losing to Sen.-elect Tom Udall (D) on Election Day. Pearce may also look at trying to win back his old House seat in 2010 from Rep.-elect Harry Teague (D).

Gov. Bill Richardson (D) is term-limited. Until Sunday, he was expected to resign his post to become President-elect Barack Obama’s Commerce secretary. But Richardson withdrew his name from consideration as a pay-to-play scandal unfolds in state government, stymieing Denish’s hopes of ascending to the top job ahead of the 2010 election.

Wilson told the TV station that she is unfazed by Denish’s early fundraising lead, noting that she sometimes raised as much as $4 million for her House races.

“Fundraising is part of being a candidate, and I’ve done that successfully in the past,” she said.

Wilson, a former National Security Council staffer, said she would try to get some consulting work and spend time with her family before deciding whether to make another statewide run in 2010.