Aside from briefly stepping down to make a bid for the Senate in 2008 Incumbent Steve Pearce has been able to hold New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional district since 2000.
Pearce has stayed in office while casting some votes opposed by many Hispanics, which make up the majority of the district.
The Senate approved an immigration bill with a pathway to citizenship a position supported by 92 percent of Hispanics, according to a recent Gallup poll. Pearce is opposed to giving undocumented immigrants the opportunity to become US citizens and favors a guest worker program instead.
New Mexico Democratic Party chair Sam Bregman says Pearce’s voting policies are opposed to the needs of his constituents.
“ I think when that is exposed more and more during this upcoming campaign I feel very confident that the race is not only in play that we are going to win it” he says
Pearce is the only Republican holding a Congressional District seat on the US Mexico Border. He says the appeal of his own brand of Republicanism can’t be overlooked.
“I think that the Hispanic values maybe very similar to mine faith, family and freedom and service that kind go across all the political spectrum and I am very open about my relationship with my family” he says.
Pearce says his political perspective is informed by his Christian and family values.
Pearce also says he has made make traveling and being visible all over his district a top priority. He even proposed a “virtual congress” to allow votes by video conferencing so there would be less need to travel to Washington D-C.
'I was at Cinco de mayo day just recently so I don’t think that it is anything that is sort of trying to get an angle on anything to me it is a relationship that has been a very solid one and it is across party lines generally' he says.' he says.
Being visible in the district is not Pearce’s only advantage. Some previous Democratic contenders in the 2nd District have been grossly underfunded.
New Mexico Democratic Party chairman Sam Bregman says this year’s candidate Roxanne 'Rocky' Lara is doing a better job with fundraising. But she still only has about $500,000 on hand compared to Pearce’s war chest of more than $1.3 million