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  NM-Sen, NM-01: Martin Heinrich Will Run for Senate
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ContributorArmyDem 
Last EditedArmyDem  Apr 02, 2011 02:13am
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News DateSaturday, April 2, 2011 08:00:00 AM UTC0:0
Descriptionby: James L.
Sat Apr 02, 2011 at 12:14 AM EDT

That's the story according to a couple of dudes that the Associated Press spoke to, at least:

U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich plans to run for the Senate seat being vacated by longtime Sen. Jeff Bingaman, two New Mexico Democrats close to the congressman and familiar with his political plans said Friday.

The two state Democrats, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid upstaging Heinrich's formal announcement, told The Associated Press that Heinrich will announce his candidacy for U.S. Senate on Saturday. Heinrich, 39, is the first prominent Democrat to jump into the race as his party seeks to hold onto the seat that has been held by Bingaman since 1982.

Heinrich spokeswoman Whitney Potter declined to comment Friday on the congressman's political plans.

When he announces, Heinrich will be the first New Mexico Democrat of any stature to formally launch a campaign for retiring Dem Sen. Jeff Bingaman's seat. (State Auditor Hector Balderas is expected to run, but he hasn't yet made his plans public.) It would appear that Heinrich, in his second term in the House after a stint serving as an Albuquerque city councilman, would have the jump on his would-be Democratic primary opponents -- at least according to a recent but meagrely-sampled poll by Tulchin Research for the Defenders of Wildlife. Heinrich led the field with 32%, followed by ex-Lt. Gov. Diane Denish at 25%, 3rd CD Rep. Ben Ray Luján at 15%, Balderas at 5% and 24% undecided.

Heinrich will leave behind an extremely swingy open seat in the House, but if a solid replacement candidate can be found, the Obama turnout machine should be a formidable advantage for Team Blue here.
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