Another source close to the campaign agreed.
“Officially [Sowards is] not throwing in the towel, but for all intents and purposes last Tuesday the campaign structurally ended; all the consultants and staff were given their 30 days’ notice,” that source said. “There was a good opportunity for Sowards to be the conservative alternative to Wilson in the race, and he just didn’t want it.”
Sowards told The Hill that he had fired his entire staff and that they will be replaced by a “well-read” campaign manager who has not run any campaigns before and is “unconventional enough [that] he will fit me like a glove,” but strongly pushed back against the idea that his campaign was over.
“I guess it’s going to be an unusual campaign that I run — it’ll be different,” he said. “It just wasn’t working out for the campaign and I wanted to go in a particular direction. I didn’t want to be packaged as a typical politician because I didn’t feel like I fit that mold.”
The two sources close to Sowards’s campaign predicted that his move will greatly help Sanchez, giving him another opportunity to unite the conservative vote against Wilson. The former congresswoman lost a 2008 GOP Senate primary to Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), the more conservative candidate. In polls she has shown close to 50 percent support, with Sanchez and Sowards splitting the conservative vote.
Sanchez has struggled with fundraising and has only $250,000 cash on
hand, while Wilson has $1 million in the bank and Sowards, a wealthy businessman who has self-funded much of his race, has a half million dollars in the bank.
But Sowards’s decision
could help Sanchez revive arguments that he is the only conservative in the
race who can beat Wilson — and make that pitch to such fiscally conservative groups as the Club for Growth who have opposed Wilson in the past but have yet to endorse in this primary.
“This really fixes a big problem that Sanchez was having,” one source said. “Roughly 10 percent of the very conservative vote was going to go to Sowards, and that’s just not going to happen now. I think there is an opportunity here for Sanchez. Some of these groups have personal vendettas against Heather Wilson and this puts some of these groups in a position to endorse Sanchez.”