ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Former Republican U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson announced Monday she will run for Senate in the 2012 election.
Wilson is the first big name to confirm a run since Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., revealed last month that he would retire at the end of his term.
“Mother, wife, Air Force officer, small business owner, member of Congress, I am and have been all of these things,” said Wilson, who was surrounded by current and former Republican leaders. “And today you can add one more: I am a candidate for the United States Senate.”
Scores of endorsements came with Wilson’s announcement, including former six-term Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., former U.S. Rep. Bill Redmond, R-N.M., former Secretary of the Interior and U.S. Rep. Manuel Lujan, R-N.M. and Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry. Wilson’s staff said they also had endorsements from nearly half the Republicans in the New Mexico Legislature.
Wilson served as a representative in the Albuquerque-based 1st Congressional District from 1998 through 2008, when she vacated her seat for her first run at Senate. She lost in the primary to Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., who in turn lost to Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M.
Pearce is still contemplating a run, setting up a potential primary rematch between himself and Wilson.
No Democrats have announced their candidacy yet, but both Rep. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and State Auditor Hector Balderas have said they are considering running for their party’s nomination.
Conservatives Bill English and Greg Sowards are also running for the Senate, according to their websites.