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N.M., N.J. voters pick Senate nominees

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080604/ap_on_el_ge/state_primaries_rdp;_ylt=AjsXnhR1mH8BfIXq9tnEu0RH2ocA N.M., N.J. voters pick Senate nominees By BARRY MASSEY,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 4, 2008
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      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080604/ap_on_el_ge/state_primaries_rdp;_ylt=AjsXnhR1mH8BfIXq9tnEu0RH2ocA

      N.M., N.J. voters pick Senate nominees

      By BARRY MASSEY, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 13
      minutes ago

      ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce
      and Democrat U.S. Rep. Tom Udall won their parties'
      nominations for New Mexico's soon-to-be-vacant Senate
      seat, while New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg strolled
      past primary opposition in his bid to join the winner
      on Capitol Hill.

      Udall was unopposed Tuesday for his party's Senate
      nomination while Republicans had a bruising two-way
      primary fight for the seat being vacated by six-term
      GOP incumbent Pete Domenici.

      Pearce defeated U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson with 51
      percent of the vote with 99 percent of precincts
      reporting. The party faithful selected a conservative
      — rather than the more moderate Wilson — to run
      against Udall, who won two statewide races as attorney
      general before his election to Congress in 1998.

      During the campaign, Pearce branded Wilson as a
      liberal for her voting record, such as supporting a
      Democratic plan to expand a children's health care
      program. She called herself a "common sense
      conservative" who would be the more electable
      Republican in the general election against Udall.

      In New Jersey, Lautenberg, 84, won a commanding
      re-nomination victory, easily besting a challenge from
      U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews and Morristown Mayor Donald
      Cresitello. Andrews often reminded voters that
      Lautenberg would be nearly 91 by the end of a fifth
      term, but Lautenberg insisted age wasn't an issue.

      "They weren't looking at my age," Lautenberg said of
      voters, who gave the incumbent an 59-35 percent edge
      over Andrews with 99 percent of precincts reporting.
      "They don't care how old I am."

      Lautenberg will compete in November against a former
      House member, Dick Zimmer, who defeated both a state
      senator and a business professor in the Republican
      primary.

      In other contests across the nation:

      _In South Dakota, residents of Union County approved
      rezoning farm land for what would be the first new
      U.S. oil refinery in more than 30 years.

      _In California, voters passed some limits on
      government home seizures but rejected sweeping changes
      to property rights laws. Residents approved
      Proposition 99 and defeated Proposition 98, which were
      both intended to limit government's authority to force
      Californians to sell their homes for private
      development projects such as shopping malls, hotels
      and new housing.

      Proposition 98 would have added protections for
      businesses and farms and phased out rent control. Its
      defeat was a victory for the California League of
      Cities and environmentalists who placed the narrower
      Proposition 99 on the ballot as an alternative.

      Proposition 98 arose from a national backlash to a
      ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005, when the
      court found that a Connecticut redevelopment authority
      had the right to seize private property for hotels,
      shopping centers and other private developments. That
      decision marked a departure from the traditional use
      of eminent domain, which is typically used when
      governments build roads, schools or other public
      projects.

      _In Sacramento, former NBA All-Star Kevin Johnson
      forced a runoff election for mayor against the
      two-term incumbent, Heather Fargo. The candidates
      needed more than 50 percent to win the contest
      outright; Johnson led his opponent 47 percent to 40
      percent. Fargo's election night party turned tragic
      when a massive tree branch crashed down and sent a
      supporter to the hospital.

      _Voters in Mendocino County, north of the Bay Area,
      agreed to repeal a groundbreaking law that allowed
      residents to grow up to 25 marijuana plants for
      medical or recreational use.

      _In San Diego, Mayor Jerry Sanders, a moderate
      Republican, thumped a wealthy, self-financed rival who
      outspent him 10-to-1 in a lively contest to run the
      nation's eighth-largest city.

      _California's most heated congressional campaign saw
      state Sen. Tom McClintock beating former Rep. Doug
      Ose, a real estate businessman, to claim the
      Republican nomination in Northern California's 4th
      Congressional District. McClintock now battles
      Democrat Charlie Brown to win the seat held by
      Republican Rep. John Doolittle, who is retiring as he
      is being investigated in an influence-peddling
      scandal.

      _In Alabama, Democrats nominated Montgomery Mayor
      Bobby Bright to try to succeed eight-term Republican
      Terry Everett. The Republican field of six was led by
      state Rep. Jay Love, but he was headed for a July 15
      runoff with state Sen. Harri Anne Smith because both
      of them received less than half the vote.

      _In Iowa, six-term congressman Leonard Boswell put
      down a challenge from a more liberal opponent, largely
      by drawing attention to Ed Fallon's support for Ralph
      Nader in the 2000 presidential race. Fallon conceded
      the endorsement was probably his "worst political
      decision" but said he had repeatedly apologized for
      backing Nader. And he noted that Al Gore narrowly won Iowa.
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