Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., said Friday he wasn't making an endorsement in the hotly contested primary race between Republican Reps. Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce for the GOP nomination in the race to succeed him, the Albuquerque Journal reported Saturday.
New Mexico politics blogger Joe Monahan this morning calls that non-endorsement a "body blow" to Wilson, whose political career was given a jump start by Domenici 10 years ago.
Monahan notes that the story was in the Journal on Saturday but the non-endorsement story wasn't posted on our Web site, and, alas, he's right.
So, here it is:
Sen. Pete Domenici said Friday night that he will not endorse either candidate in the Republican U.S. Senate race prior to the June 3 primary election — but he vowed to plug hard for the winner.
“I can guarantee you that, not only will I endorse the winner, but I will work very, very hard,” Domenici said of the victor in the race between Reps. Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce.
The item was tacked on to the Journal's Jeff Jones' story on former New York Republic Sen. Alfonse D'Amato paying tribute to Domenici at a dinner Friday night and was inadvertently left out when the story was picked up on the Web site.
We agree with Monahan that Pete's neutrality is a very big deal.
Meanwhile, the Journal on Sunday endorsed Wilson in her race against Pearce for the GOP nomination. Again we find ourselves agreeing with Monahan that the Journal's calling Wilson a "moderate" — while she's trying to position herself as a "common-sense conservative" — could be damning her with the faintest of praise to New Mexico's conservative voters.