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ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A former state GOP party chairman, retired Marine and longtime Albuquerque businessman who lost a gubernatorial bid four years ago is setting his sights on Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Udall’s seat.
Allen Weh announced his candidacy with an Internet video Thursday, emphasizing his military service in Vietnam and experience as a successful businessman.
“I have zero tolerance for weak leadership,” Weh said, noting that Washington needs politicians who can negotiate and compromise “like adults.”
He said the country also needs “more senators who were in uniform and served in harm’s way.” Weh served in Vietnam.
Weh outlined an agenda that focuses on creating new jobs, protecting the state’s federal facilities, fixing the “Obamacare train wreck” and balancing the budget.
The founder and CEO of CSI Aviation, a charter aircraft and leasing company, Weh has deep pockets. In 2010, he finished second behind Gov. Susana Martinez in a five-way GOP primary after lending his campaign $1.6 million, which represented about 70 percent of the nearly $2.3 million in monetary and in-kind contributions that he collected.
Martinez, who raised about $1.5 million, beat him by 28,000 votes.
Udall is making his first bid for re-election after winning the seat held for more than 30 years by retired Republican Sen. Pete Domenici. The most recent federal reports show he had cash-on-hand of $1.86 million as of Sept. 30.
New Mexico’s other Senate seat is also held by a Democrat, Martin Heinrich.