It was commonly believed that state Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn (R-Hobbs) had the inside political track to succeed outgoing US Rep. Steve Pearce (R-Hobbs) in the open 2nd Congressional District. But, apparently a dispute with Gov. Susana Martinez (R) has soured him on New Mexico politics and yesterday he withdrew from the congressional contest. This makes the Republican primary a free-for-all and, in a district with 45% Hispanic population, the Democrats certainly have hopes of scoring an upset victory in the open seat general election. Both primaries, to be decided in June, will be crowded. Therefore, no clear favorite for the seat currently exists, though based upon the long-term southern New Mexico voting history the eventual GOP nominee will be considered at least a slight early favorite to hold the seat.
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