New Mexico: Dan Lewis Drops Bid for 1st District

Posted March 20, 2012 at 4:08pm

Albuquerque City Councilor Dan Lewis has dropped out of the open 1st district race in New Mexico.

Lewis’ exit leaves former state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones and retired Army Sgt. Gary Smith as the only Republicans vying for the seat of Rep. Martin Heinrich (D), who is running for Senate.

Lewis was the only one of the three with at least $100,000 in the bank at the end of 2011 and the only one included in the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Young Guns program. While his exit is a blow to the party’s chances of winning back the seat, national Republicans already viewed the race as an uphill climb.

Democrats have a competitive primary between former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez, state Sen. Eric Griego and Bernalillo County Commissioner Michelle Lujan Grisham.

“Their candidates have already raised over a half million dollars,” Lewis said in a statement. “A contentious Republican primary will waste much goodwill and badly needed funds better spent in November’s campaign against a heavily financed democrat opponent.”

Lewis declined to endorse either of his former opponents in the primary, scheduled for June 5.

Roll Call rates the general election race as Likely Democratic.