Heather Wilson (R-NM) figured to be leaving the broadcaster’s fave House Committee on Energy and Commerce anyway, but instead of moving to the other side of the Capitol, it looks like she’ll have the option of remaining in New Mexico. She lost a close primary race to fellow Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) Tuesday, who will now face New Mexico’s third and final Rep. Tom Udall (D-NM) in the race for the seat of retiring Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM). Udall is the strong early favorite.
RBR/TVBR observation: Wilson is notable for having had one of the more emotional speeches in committee following the Janet Jackson incident. On the other hand, she was tied along with Domenici in the fired US attorney scandal, and more particularly, with the most celebrated of the fired attorneys, David Iglesias, himself the model for the Tom Cruise character in “A Few Good Men.”
All early indications are that this will be an easy pickup for the Democrats. Broadcasters may be excused for breathing a sigh of relief that Republican trouble in New Mexico did not kick in six years earlier, when the Democratic nominee was former FCC Commissioner Gloria Tristani. She has been cited by current Commissioner Michael Copps as in inspiration. She was regulatory-minded and a leading anti-indecency hawk. Since her failure to unseat Domenici, she’s been back in the communications wars as a member of the watchdog community.