Albuquerque merits pondered

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Southern New Mexico could decide senate race

By Jay Miller

The Democratic U.S. senate primary is likely to be as hard fought and negative as the GOP primary. The two races have much in common.
Both contests feature a U.S. house member or former member, representing Albuquerque, against an opponent who has won a statewide election.
In the GOP primary, former Rep. Heather Wilson and Lt. Gov. John Sanchez do battle.
In the Democratic primary, Rep. Martin Heinrich and state Auditor Hector Balderas face off.
Wilson represented Albuquerque for more than 10 years, never losing  an election. She left her seat and unsuccessfully ran statewide in the 2008 GOP senate primary to replace Sen. Pete Domenici.
Sanchez won the GOP primary for governor in 2002 and then lost the general election by a big margin to Bill Richardson.
He won the 2010 GOP primary election for lieutenant governor and went on to win the position in the general election running on the Susana Martinez ticket.
On the Democratic side, Heinrich has been elected twice to the U.S. house from Albuquerque. In the U.S. senate primary, he is squaring off with Balderas who is serving his second term as state auditor.
The big question for the coming election is whether it is better to have represented Albuquerque in congress or to have been elected to statewide office.

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