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08 elections to be something else

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By Jay Miller

SANTA FE — Hold onto your hats. The 2008 congressional elections will be like none other in the history of the state. Three, and possibly four, of New Mexico’s five seats in Congress will be wide open awaiting a decision by voters. This is the best opportunity New Mexico politicians have ever had to nail themselves a seat in Congress. For those who have been biding their time for years, waiting for just the right situation, it has arrived.U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici’s surprise retirement announcement set the action in motion. When the two Republican members of the U.S. House quickly jumped into the race to move up to the Senate, their seats became vacant.If our third representative, Democrat Tom Udall, jumps into the Senate race, he vacates his seat also.In that case, the only congressional incumbent New Mexico will have is Democrat Sen. Jeff Bingaman who is happily watching, having swept to a new six-year term a year ago.Sen. Domenici had no more than announced that he was about to make an announcement when the speculation began. And soon after that came the beginning of official entries into the three races. First to jump into the Senate race were U.S. Reps. Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce.