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Three years ago, four of our five-member congressional delegation gave up their seats to retirement or a run for higher office.
An 80 percent turnover in any state’s congressional delegation is most unusual. It is almost a total loss of seniority.
Sen. Jeff Bingaman, with his 26 years of experience was the only seniority the delegation had.
Four years later, New Mexico will lose Bingaman’s seniority and that of House member Martin Heinrich who is running for Bingaman’s open Senate seat.
That will put New Mexico even farther down the seniority ladder. But it will give us two very exciting congressional races in both the primary and general elections.
The U.S. Senate race features a Republican battle between former U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson and Lt. Gov. John Sanchez.
Also in the race are Las Cruces businessman Greg Sowards and William English of Alamogordo.
The biggest point of contention will be whether Wilson is conservative enough to win the primary and whether Sanchez really is as conservative as he says he is.
Wilson’s 10-year record in Congress and Sanchez’s two years in the state legislature indicate they both are somewhat moderate, with Sanchez being the more moderate of the two.National conservative leaders say they will have a strong conservative in the race.
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