“I am honored to receive the endorsement from the Blue Dog Democrats who share my commitment to fiscal conservatism and willingness to put partisan politics aside to move southern New Mexico and our country forward,” Lara said in the release. “The partisan bickering in Washington is leaving southern New Mexico’s middle class families in its wake, and Congressman Pearce has spent his career adding to the dysfunction.”
“We are facing too many challenges as a country to stop listening to one another and run to our respective political corners,” Blue Dog Co-Chair John Barrow said in the release. “We all have to come to the table, irrespective of party affiliation, and have a meaningful discussion of the issues. Rocky Lara will help the Blue Dogs do what we have always done – bring both sides together to craft policies that move this country forward.”
The Blue Dog Democrats are fiscally conservative Democrats who are known to vote alongside Republicans. However, in the increased polarization of Congress, their numbers have dwindled. There are just 19 members of the Blue Dog Coalition in Congress right now. There were 54 in 2009.
Blue Dog Democrats are mainly in the South and rural, conservative areas of states.
A combination of the polarization of Congress, redistricting making once-marginal districts more Republican and a host of other issues have led to the drop in Blue Dog Democrats.
Lara faces an uphill battle in the conservative district in her attempt to knock off Steve Pearce, the Republican incumbent who has won election easily in each of his attempts in the district.
Pearce has held the seat for all but two years since 2002, when he defeated State Senator John Arthur Smith, the most fiscally conservative Democrat in the legislature, for the open seat. Those two years were when Pearce made an unsuccessful run for Senate. Pearce defeated Wilson in a bitterly-contested primary but then lost handily to Tom Udall.