A quick look at the Steve Pearce vs. Evelyn Madrid Erhard race for Congress
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Steve Pearce says he’s counting on constituents’ good will to send him back to Congress for another term while Evelyn Madrid Erhard says she thinks enough voters in the Second Congressional District want change badly enough to send her to Washington.
“We always feel like we’ve got to watch it,” Pearce told Capitol Report New Mexico last Thursday while attending Mitt Romney’s campaign rally in Hobbs. “My district is 34 percent Republican. We always work hard. There’s only two ways to run — unopposed or scared, and we’re running scared,” he said with a smile, “we have opposition.”
“I think [the campaign] is going very well,” Erhard Madrid said by telephone Monday (Aug. 27). “I’ve been travelling a lot. I knew when I signed up to run that it would have to be really, really grassroots.”
Pearce is a well-known figure in the Second Congressional District that makes up the southern portion of the state while Erhard Madrid is taking part in her first run for Congress.
After losing badly in a run for the US Senate in 2008, Pearce regained his seat in the House in 2010 with a comfortable win over Harry Teague. In the last two years, Pearce has made headlines for fighting back efforts from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to place the dunes sagebrush lizard – whose habitat is located in the Oil Patch in southeastern New Mexico — on the endangered species list and for criticizing the US Forest Service’s handling of wildfires in the Gila National Forest and in Ruidoso.
“We’re doing the things that we can do recreate our economy and bring manufacturing jobs back,” Pearce said, “just make life stable, give people the ability to raise their families, improve education. It’s common sense. We did the same thing when I owned a business here, just create jobs. That’s what it’s about.”
Madrid Erhard says her message to voters is, “Please vote for your needs. Protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and the wonderful law to protect you from insurance companies known as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare,” adding that she thinks Pearce has “been on a rampage and I believe I have a very good chance of winning.”
Erhard Madrid says she hasn’t seen any polling in the race but acknowledges she has a real uphill fight when it comes to fundraising. In the most recent quarterly reports released by the Federal Election Commission, Pearce had $814,969 cash on hand while Erhard Madrid had just $3,481.
On Monday night in Las Cruces, the man who beat Pearce in the ’08 Senate race, Tom Udall, will make an appearance at a Madrid Erhard fundraiser.
“I’m not a monied person,” she said adding, “If [voters] want me there, they’ll take me there.”
Here’s Pearce talking to us last Thursday about the campaign: