Former Rep. Pearce seeks return

Former Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) announced Monday that he will seek a return to Congress in 2010.

Pearce left his seat in 2008 to run for his state’s open Senate seat. After a hard-fought primary with then-Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.), he lost a lopsided general election matchup against then-Rep. Tom Udall (D-N.M.).

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Democrats stole Pearce's and Wilson’s House seats in the meantime, with Rep. Harry Teague (D) succeeding Pearce.

Pearce said six months of watching Teague legislate was enough.

“I cannot let this happen to the people of New Mexico,” Pearce said. “So today, I am signing paperwork to run for the 2nd congressional district. This district needs a congressman who will fight for jobs for New Mexico families. Harry Teague won’t. I will.”

Pearce had been eying either a run at the governor’s mansion, likely against Lt. Gov. Diane Denish (D), or his old House seat. But a recent poll showed him trailing Denish by more than 20 points.

Pearce joins former Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) in seeking a seat he left just this year. Former Reps. Bill Sali (R-Idaho), Charlie Bass (R-N.H.) and Virgil Goode (R-Va.) are also looking at returning to Congress after losing in recent years.