Stevan Edward "Steve" Pearce (born August 24, 1947) is the U.S. Representative for New Mexico's 2nd congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party. He previously held the seat from 2003 to 2009 and was an Assistant Minority Whip.
Early life, education and career
Pearce was born in Lamesa in Dawson County in west Texas but reared in Hobbs, New Mexico, where he currently resides with his wife, Cynthia. He attended college at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, having earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in economics. Afterward, he received a Master of Business Administration from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales.
While at New Mexico State University, Pearce was elected president of the student body.
He served in the Vietnam War as a C-130 pilot in the United States Air Force. Pearce flew over 518 hours of combat flight and 77 hours of combat support. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and two Air Medals, as well as seven other military medals and four exceptional service awards. Upon returning to the United States, Pearce was assigned to the Strategic Air Command at Blytheville Air Force Base, Arkansas. He was honorably discharged from the U.S.
Air Force with the rank of Captain.
Pearce and his wife own and operate Lea Fishing Tools, an oilfield services company in Hobbs, New Mexico.
Pearce was elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives in 1996 and re-elected in 1998, both times unopposed.
He ran for the United States Senate but lost in the Republican primary to former third district U.S. Congressman Bill Redmond by a wide margin.
Pearce was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2002, following 11-term Representative Joe Skeen's retirement. In the primary, he defeated rancher Edward R. Tinsley, also a native of Lamesa, Texas, and the owner of the K-Bob's Steakhouse chain in Texas and New Mexico, as well as businessman Phelps Anderson.
On October 16, 2007, Pearce announced he would run for the Republican nomination to replace Pete Domenici in the U. S.
Fellow Republican Representative Heather Wilson had previously declared her candidacy in that race. In late October 2007, Pearce made 130,000 automated phone calls to justify his opposition to the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) bill that would have provided health benefit to children, which the Wilson campaign claimed "Pearce violated House ethics by urging those he called to contact him through his official, non-campaign phone number or check out his official, non-campaign Web site."
In March 2008, Pearce garnered 54.51% of the vote at the Republican pre-primary nominating convention. He narrowly won the June 3, 2008 Republican primary. He was endorsed by the Campaign for Working Families, the National Right to Life Organization, the Susan B. Anthony List, the Club for Growth, and the Albuquerque Police Officer's Association.
Pearce ran against U.S.
Congressman Tom Udall who represented New Mexico's 3rd congressional district but lost to him in the general election, 61% to 39%.
Pearce successfully challenged Democratic incumbent Harry Teague for New Mexico's 2nd congressional district. He was endorsed in the race by former Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
On August 1, 2009, Pearce announced his candidacy for his old seat. On June 1, 2010, he won the Republican primary without any serious challengers. He drew criticism from local media after an event in Los Lunas where he refused to say whether he believes Barack Obama is a natural-born U.S. citizen.
In 2010 he defeated incumbent Harry Teague in the mid-term elections with 55.4% of the vote and took his seat in January 2011.
U.S. House of Representatives
Pearce has been married to his wife Cynthia for over 20 years, and together they operate a small oilfield services company called Lea Fishing Tools.
December 22nd, 2011