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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Retired Marine colonel and aerospace entrepreneur Allen Weh Tuesday easily defeated political newcomer David Clements for the unlikely chance to unseat popular Democratic Sen. Tom Udall in November.
The 71-year-old Weh had 65 percent of the vote in unofficial returns from the GOP primary.
A wealthy Albuquerque businessman, Weh spent more than $200,000 of his own money to defeat Clements, a political newcomer with little cash who surprised many by winning 47 percent of delegate support at the state convention earlier this year.
Weh is former state GOP party chairman who made a run for governor four years ago, coming in second behind Gov. Susana Martinez in a five-way primary.
But despite his veteran status and deep pockets, political watchers said he has little chance of winning over Udall, a popular former congressman and state attorney general with $3 million cash on hand. A recent computer model of races conducted for The New York Times says Udall is one of 14 Senate incumbents with a 99 percent chance of retaining their seats.
University of New Mexico political science professor Gabriel Sanchez agreed, noting that Udall has high approval ratings and the GOP candidate will likely have a hard time raising money given projections like those from The New York Times.
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