- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 15, 2017

HOBBS, N.M. (AP) - A former leader of the state Republican Party is planning to run for the open congressional seat that covers much of southern New Mexico.

Monty Newman made the announcement Monday in a news release issued to media outlets across the state, settling rumors among party insiders that he was considering campaigning for the GOP nomination in the 2nd District.

The seat has been attracting attention since U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce announced his intention to run for governor in New Mexico.

Newman has operated a real estate company for over three decades and served as the mayor of Hobbs from 2004 to 2008. That’s when he made his first bid for the congressional seat, losing out in the primary.

State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn also is running for the GOP nomination.

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