Chavez Drops Out Of N.M. Senate Race; Udall Likely Nominee

Albuquerque mayor Martin Chavez (D) announced he is dropping out of the New Mexico Senate race Friday night, allowing Democrats to avoid the likelihood of a hotly-contested and negative primary for the nomination.

His decision all but guarantees Rep. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) will win the Democratic nomination for retiring Sen. Pete Domenici’s (R-N.M.) seat

“While I deeply appreciate all the support I have received, it has become very clear to me that Democrats should not be divided in the upcoming election,” Chavez said in a statement.

“It is crucial to the future of New Mexico and this country that a Democrat become the next U.S. Senator. A hotly contested primary, as this one certainly could be, would likely dramatically weaken the Democratic nominee and place the general election in jeopardy… To that end, I pledge my full support for Tom Udall for U.S. Senate, and I encourage all New Mexicans to support Tom as well.”

Until recently, Chavez had been aggressively attacking Udall for his Congressional record. He told Politico last month that Udall was a “congressman who is not known for having done anything.”

Republicans are facing a competitive primary of their own between Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.) and Steve Pearce (R-N.M.).