Sanchez would also be a conservative alternative to the moderate Wilson. Pearce, who just won back his seat in the House in 2010, has not definitively shut the door on a Senate run of his own, although he also said in the email that it is possible "a completely new face" could emerge. If Sanchez gets in the race, his conservative credentials might be enough to satisfy someone like Pearce. Finally, if Sanchez does get in the race, it's possible that Gov. Susana Martinez (R) get behind him, which could prove to be a huge boost. But Wilson chaired Martinez's transition, and may also be eying an endorsement. For now, Wilson is the decided frontrunner on the GOP side, with only two other minor candidates in the race. But For Wilson, overcoming the perception that she is not conservative enough will be the main challenge in the primary. Given the high number of Democrats in the state, Wilson would be a powerful candidate in the general election, as she would be able to pull support from independents and some Democrats. But first, she will have to make it out of a primary -- something she was not able to do in 2008. And she is already facing criticism from the right. "Keeping Heather Wilson out of the Senate will be the next great noble cause for conservatives," conservative blogger Erick Erickson Tweeted last week.
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