Democrat Challenges Pearce in New Mexico | #NM02

Posted September 3, 2013 at 3:57pm

Democrat Roxanne “Rocky” Lara announced Tuesday that she will run for the nomination to challenge New Mexico’s lone Republican delegation member, Rep. Steve Pearce.

“New Mexicans deserve someone in Congress who is committed to our needs and values, but we haven’t been getting that from Washington lately,” Lara said in a release. “I’ll change that by following a straightforward principle: I will work with anyone who shares a willingness to work for a better New Mexico.”

Lara is a former Eddy County Commission chairwoman; she unsuccessfully ran for state party chair in April, according to the El Paso Times. Lara has met previously with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee about a House run, per a national Democratic operative.

New Mexico Democratic Party Chairman Sam Bregman said Lara’s entry in the race means there are two qualified candidates available to take on Pearce, pointing to attorney Leslie Endean-Singh, who previously announced  her run for the 2nd District’s Democratic nomination.

“We’ve got two good candidates and the party will be getting behind whoever wins the nomination,” Bregman said in an interview with CQ Roll Call. “And we look forward to beating Steve Pearce.”

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The 2nd District is the most — and only — Republican House district in the state. Mitt Romney carried the district by seven points in 2012 and Pearce won re-election that year by 18 points.

Pearce was first elected to Congress in 2002. He vacated the seat in 2008 to make an unsuccessful run for Senate in 2008. Democrats won the seat that year, but Pearce won it back in 2010.

Kyle Trygstad contributed to this report.