The Dems chime in.
From state Democratic Party executive director Josh Geise:
"Heather Wilson, sensing the strength of Lt. Governor Diane Denish, today decided she would not seek the Governor’s office. The Republican Party, decimated after the 2008 election, is left with a nothing more than a handful of second-tier candidates for the state’s top office.
"Regardless of who emerges from the Republican primary, the lack of experience in their entire slate of Republican candidates should deeply concern New Mexicans. Now is not the time for on-the-job training. We need a proven leader to help New Mexico families’ weather these tough times, and none of the Republicans running come close to meeting that challenge."
GOP gubernatorial candidate Susana Martinez also issued a statement:
"Heather Wilson is an accomplished leader who is admired and respected by New Mexicans regardless of their political persuasion. I would first and foremost like to thank her for the years of service to New Mexico and the hard work and dedication she continues to exhibit on behalf of her fellow citizens. I am certain Heather will continue to have a profound and positive impact on the state she so deeply cares about. With Heather's announcement that she will not seek the governorship in 2010, it has become more clear than ever that I am the one candidate seeking the Republican Party's nomination who can build the necessary coalition to compete and win next fall. I have a proven track record of bringing people together and winning tough elections in a county where Republicans are outnumbered nearly three to one. In the weeks and months to come, I will continue to travel the state communicating my vision for New Mexico based on my conservative principles and values."
The other Republican candidates might weigh in also. I'll update if that happens.
The State GOP just released this response to the state Democrats' response:
“Over the course of the last seventy years, this state has been dominated by the Democrat Party. In return for their investment, New Mexicans have received a state economy in ruins, a reputation badly tarnished by an unending string of public corruption scandals, and an education system which continues to fail our children.
“For the last six-and-a-half years, Diane Denish has occupied a platform from which she has been well positioned to champion meaningful reform. And yet the state’s current financial health and reputation reflect that she has not done this. Therefore, it becomes increasingly ridiculous that the Democrat Party continues to portray Denish as a seasoned leader while at the same time arguing that she bears no responsibility for the current administration’s failures.
“As the primary date nears, Republicans statewide will select a gubernatorial candidate with the integrity, experience, and vision necessary to get this state back on track. We are confident that come November 2010, this nominee will be elected to serve the people of New Mexico.”
Republican candidate Janice Arnold-Jones just released this statement:
"Heather Wilson’s statement of her intentions provides clarity and opportunity for the Republican Party. Heather Wilson sacrificed her time and irreplaceable moments with her family to represent the State of New Mexico and she has more than earned a brief rest from public service. Heather Wilson served with courage, tenacity, grace and unmatched intellect in Congress. Her understanding of National Security issues is without equal. I hope she will find time to help define the path forward for the Republican Party of New Mexico and for the State in the days just ahead."