Thursday, February 9, 2012

It's Official. Sanchez Quits Senate Race

The lieutenant go vernor is out, leaving only Heather Wilson and Greg Sowards in the Republican Senate primary. Here's the official statement from the Sanchez campaign:

 Eight months ago, our campaign for the U.S. Senate began with one clear objective: to give New Mexicans the opportunity to send conservative leadership to Washington D.C.  The timing on this race was not ideal nor did we choose it. But the need for a conservative leader from New Mexico is real.

   Throughout the course of this campaign, it has become clear to me, that in order to ensure that a Republican is elected to represent New Mexico in the U.S. Senate, the G.O.P must stand united. A bitter and divisive Republican Primary would only diminish our party’s genuine opportunity to bring real change in Washington. The reality is that the path forward to success in the campaign could cause a negative primary struggle that would leave the eventual nominee bruised, bloody and broke. 

  After much prayer, counsel with my family, and discussions with supporters, I have decided to end my campaign for the U.S. Senate, and continue to serve New Mexico as your Lt. Governor. 

  I want to express my sincere thanks to those New Mexicans who joined our campaign. I am forever grateful for the support we received from grassroots leaders, tea party patriots, business owners, GOP activists and everyday citizens. They offered their efforts and their dollars and it meant the world to me. This was not my time, but I will never forget their friendship. 

I am redirecting myself today to helping our party advance the strongest slate of candidates to victory in November, from the Roundhouse to the White House. 

  I hope that you will join me in working with Governor Martinez, and all conservatives to complete the important work that we have begun in New Mexico. 

May God Bless and Keep You, and may God Bless America and New Mexico.

More details as they develop.

UPDATE 12:06 pm : Former Sanchez rival Heather Wilson responds with the first nice thing she's said about Sanchez in at least eiught months:

“Lt. Gov. John Sanchez is a fine public servant who has always put the needs of New Mexico first. He ran a good campaign that questioned the current direction of our country and emphasized the importance of this election. I consider John a friend, and I know he will continue to serve New Mexicans with honor.”

UPDATE: 1:50 pm  I just got this statement from Gov. Susana Martinez's spokesman, Scott Darnell:

The governor supports Lt. Governor Sanchez’s decision to exit the Senate race and focus on serving as Lt. Governor to help turn New Mexico around.