AP NEWS

The Latest: Republican Mick Rich weighs 2nd Senate campaign

March 26, 2019
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Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester, left, talks to Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, right, at Catholic Charities in Albuquerque, N.M., on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. Keller announced Wednesday that "hundreds" of migrants from Central America and Brazil are expected to arrive in the city in the coming weeks and volunteers are preparing for visitors. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on the 2020 race for U.S. Senate in New Mexico (all times local):

12:50 p.m.

Republican construction contractor Mick Rich says he is contemplating another run for U.S. Senate in 2020 after his defeat last year to Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich in a three-way race.

Potential candidates have begun jockeying for position Tuesday to succeed Sen. Tom Udall after he announced he will not seek a third term.

Rich asserted Tuesday in a statement that liberal politicians control the entire New Mexico delegation to Capitol Hill and that voters want a candidate who can unite Republicans, Libertarians and conservative Democrats.

Rich received 31 percent of the vote in last year’s Senate race. Heinrich earned 54 percent. Former presidential candidate and Gov. Gary Johnson ran under the Libertarian banner and secured 15 percent of ballots.

Among Democrats, U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan says he is consulting his family and supporters about the opportunity to run for Senate.

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midnight

A rare open race for a U.S. Senate in New Mexico has been scheduled in 2020 with the announcement that Democrat Tom Udall won’t seek re-election.

Udall’s announcement Monday was timed to give the Democratic Party a few months of breathing room after sweeping fall election victories.

The open Senate race now is sure to touch off political jockeying, especially among ambitious Democratic politicians amid calls for more ethnically diverse representation.

The Senate opportunity arrives as the Republican Party struggles to find its footing in a state on the border with Mexico that President Donald Trump lost by 9 percentage points in 2018.

Answering to speculation, Democratic Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller says it’s an honor to be considered for Senate and that he is committed to Albuquerque right now.