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Pearce Running For The Senate In N.M.

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) is expected to announce a bid for the seat of retiring Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the congressman’s intentions.

He’ll be sending out a statement to friends and supporters, the source said, but will not make a formal announcement for another couple of weeks.

His decision to run also opens up another House seat, which Democrats view as winnable – even though Pearce’s district is solidly Republican, giving President Bush 58 percent of the vote in 2004.

Pearce’s entrance in the Senate race also sets up a highly competitive primary with another leading Republican in the state, Rep. Heather Wilson, which will inevitably pit the moderate and conservative wings of the party against each other.