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Heinrich, Wilson Advance to General Election in New Mexico Heinrich, Wilson Advance to General Election in New Mexico

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Politics

Heinrich, Wilson Advance to General Election in New Mexico

June 5, 2012

Rep. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and former Republican Rep. Heather Wilson will face off in the New Mexico Senate race, setting up a battle between two top contenders in the Land of Enchantment.

The Associated Press called the Democratic primary for Heinrich with 48 percent of precincts reporting, with Heinrich leading state Auditor Hector Balderas 59 percent to 41 percent. Wilson easily beat businessman Greg Sowards in the GOP primary -- with 48 percent of precincts reporting, Wilson leads Sowards 70 percent to 30 percent, according to the AP.

Both sides once seemed like potentially competitive contests. Balderas is considered a rising star in New Mexico Democratic politics, but proved unable to keep pace with Heinrich in fundraising. Despite being an underdog throughout the campaign, he never attacked his Democratic opponent on television.

Wilson initially faced a primary challenge from Lt. Gov. John Sanchez -- a conservative who might have forced Wilson to the right -- but Sanchez also fell far short in the fundraising department and dropped out of the race early this year.

The general election will likely be a tight race. Both candidates hail from the same congressional district, and that familiar turf is expected to be the battleground for the general election.

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