RESULT: Marty Heinrich (D) 55% – Darren White (R) 45%
Republican incumbent Heather Wilson decided to run for U.S. Senate and leave her House seat that she had occupied since 1998. Because the seat has been listed as wide open by the Cook Report and Rothenberg Rating, both Parties consider it to be a priority and will dedicate a record amount of resources to the race. [Albuquerque Tribune, 10/15/07] The two candidates are Democrat Marty Heinrich and Republican Darren White. According to Real Clear Politics, Heinrich, an Albuquerque city council member, commissioned a June/July 2008 poll that showed him ahead of White by three points. [Real Clear Politics, 4/11/08 via Heinrich for Congress Website, Accessed 7/22/08] Although Rep. Wilson was an occasional supporter of comprehensive immigration reform measures, her recent record in the U.S. House of Representatives has been more in-line with GOP hard-liners.
The Heinrich Position:
ENFORCEMENT FIRST. Heinrich (D) does not prominently feature his immigration position on his campaign website, but a web search reveals a statement from the site that “When it comes to immigration, [Heinrich] believes in securing the border with personnel instead of ‘a monument to a political ideology;’ holding employers accountable for hiring undocumented workers; and he’d like to sort out NAFTA to be easier on northern Mexico ranchers and farmers.” [Alibi Endorses Martin Heinrich, 5/29/08 via Heinrich for Congress Website, Accessed 7/22/08] According to The Guardian, Heinrich also “condemns the Republicans’ planned US-Mexico fence as a ‘boondoggle’ and ‘great for contractors.’” [The Guardian, 6/5/08 via Heinrich for Congress Website, Accessed 7/22/08]
The White Position:
ENFORCEMENT FIRST, THEN TEMPORARY WORKERS. According to the candidate’s web site, Republican “Darren White believes we must secure our borders first and opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants. Without tackling the border first, we fail to seriously address the problem. Legal immigrants should be required to pass background checks, have a job, and learn English. After our borders have been secured, White supports the creation of a common sense, streamlined Temporary Worker Program that fulfills our economic needs, without any provision for amnesty. We must create a National Employer Verification System that includes a national database and biometric identification card. Employers must have the ability to verify the status of non-citizens and we must end the “can’t ask, won’t tell” approach to the hiring process. Employers need to be able to rely on this verification system.” [Darren White for Congress, accessed 5/15/08]
New Mexico 1st