Pearce officially announces candidacy

By Gabriel Monte: Freedom New Mexico

U.S. Representative Steve Pearce, R-N.M., said Saturday during a stump speech to announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate that he plans to take conservative New Mexico values to Washington.

Pearce spoke to a crowd of supporters at the Clovis Municipal Airport, where he announced his candidacy for Sen. Pete Domenici’s seat in the Senate.

“We need courageous leaders who stand against higher taxes and who will fight against intrusive government,” said Pearce who flew his single-engine plane for a 10-stop tour of New Mexico.

Domenici announced last month that he would not seek a seventh term in the senate after being diagnosed with an incurable brian disorder. His current term expires January 2009.

“New Mexico has benefited greatly from everything that the senator has done and from his service and we’re not either going to forget him or his tireless service for a very long time,” he said.

Peace joins fellow Republican Rep. Heather Wilson in the race for Domenici’s seat.

“I think he’ll be a real strong candidate and I plan to support him,” said Clovis City Commissioner Len Vohs. “From what he was saying in his speech, I believe he can cross the aisle and pull both parties together and give our citizens more confidence in what’s going on in Washington (D.C.).”

Commissioner Fred Van Soelen said Pearce, who grew up in Hobbs, understands the concerns and issues Clovis faces, such as water and economic development, because they are the same issues he deals with in Hobbs.

“I think he’ll represent this area very well,” he said.

Pearce said he supports efforts for value added products for New Mexico farmers and the Ute pipeline project.

“We’re supporters of the idea that our communities must have water,” he said. “We have a larger allotment (of water from Ute lake) than what we’re using and we should find some beneficial way to use that water in New Mexico otherwise it goes downstream and belongs to Texas.”

Pearce said he supports securing the border and fixing the immigration system before tackling illegal immigration.

“It takes up to 20 years to come here legally, it’s just too long, people should be able to know in a matter of a month or two,” he said.

“And then once we solve the border, have a secure border, we fixed legal immigration, then I think we can go take a look at the illegal immigration. I don’t think amnesty is something that appeals to any American.”

After making his announcement in Clovis, Pearce flew to Roswell, Tinnie and Alamogordo. He ends his tour today in Carlsbad.