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Inside the Beltway

Washington politics and government with a New Mexico flavor

John Sanchez Endorses Heather Wilson

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Lt. Gov. John Sanchez, who dropped his own bid for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in February, today endorsed his former rival Heather Wilson in the race.

Wilson’s campaign just issued a press releases with the news.

“My decision to exit the race for the United States Senate was based upon the recognition of a vital need for peace among Republicans in a year when elections matter more than ever,” Sanchez is quoted as saying in the release. “That peace would certainly have been compromised by a tough primary. Therefore, I am enthusiastically endorsing Heather Wilson to be the next United States Senator from New Mexico. “I’ve known Heather Wilson for almost 20 years. Washington is taking our country in the wrong direction and we need strong leaders to change the direction of our country. Heather Wilson is that candidate,

Sanchez’s Senate campaign never really caught fire, but I’m sure Wilson would welcome the support of the conservative tea party voters he attracted during his run. The former congresswoman, viewed as too moderate for some in the Republican Party, is working hard to burnish her conservative credentials ahead of this weekend’s pre-primary convention in Albuquerque.

Las Cruces businessman Greg Sowards is the other Republican seeking the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate.

Here’s Wilson’s release in its entirety:

ALBUQUERQUE — Lt. Gov. John Sanchez announced today his endorsement of Heather Wilson’s candidacy for the United States Senate. “My decision to exit the race for the United States Senate was based upon the recognition of a vital need for peace among Republicans in a year when elections matter more than ever,” Sanchez stated. “That peace would certainly have been compromised by a tough primary. Therefore, I am enthusiastically endorsing Heather Wilson to be the next United States Senator from New Mexico. “I’ve known Heather Wilson for almost 20 years. Washington is taking our country in the wrong direction and we need strong leaders to change the direction of our country. Heather Wilson is that candidate,” Sanchez said. “America’s challenges are too great for politics as usual. To preserve our country’s greatness, we need leaders who will shake things up in Washington and take on the establishment in both parties. We need leaders who aren’t afraid to make tough decisions, even when they’re unpopular. We start by electing leaders like Heather Wilson to the United States Senate. “Republicans can not take back the US Senate without winning in NM and Republicans in NM must be united behind our strongest candidate. That’s why I am endorsing Heather Wilson. I am not just supporting Heather Wilson — I am committed to help her win.” “Lt. Gov. John Sanchez has been my friend and neighbor for almost 20 years. As a longtime leader in our party, I appreciate John’s service to our state and look forward to working closely with him in the coming years as we try to do what is best for New Mexico. I am happy to have his support,” Wilson said. “With John’s help, our campaign continues to build momentum and a strong grassroots presence all across New Mexico.” Lt. Gov. Sanchez joins more than 155 community leaders from all corners of the state who have backed her candidacy. In addition, 42 sitting state legislators, eight former State Senators and 10 former State Representatives have joined United States Senator Pete Domenici, Congressman and former Interior Secretary Manuel Lujan and Congressman Bill Redmond in endorsing Wilson.

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