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Heinrich Ponders Running to Succeed ‘Mentor’ Bingaman

Democratic Rep. Martin Heinrich is considering a run for Senate in 2012 following Sen. Jeff Bingaman’s announcement last week that he would not seek re-election in New Mexico, the House Member said Sunday.

“I have not yet made a decision, but together with my wife Julie, I plan to actively consider running,” Heinrich said in a statement. “Jeff Bingaman and I share a passionate concern for this great state and its people, and my decision will be based on whether I believe I can best serve New Mexico in the House or in the Senate.”

Heinrich called Bingaman (D) a “friend and mentor.” The five-term Senator had been favored for re-election according to recent polling, but he said Friday that “the end of this Congress is the right time for me to step aside and allow someone else to serve.”

The retirement puts the seat in jeopardy for Democrats, and Roll Call Politics has changed the race rating from Safe Democratic to Tossup.

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