EL PASO — U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, R-Hobbs, reacted to news of former New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici fathering a child outside of his marriage decades ago.
"I've known Senator Domenici for 20 years and he's an honorable man. I tell you the best among us make mistakes," said Pearce.
Domenici, a Republican, served six terms from 1973 to 2009, the longest tenure in New Mexico's history. He, along with the child's mother, released a statement to the Albuquerque Journal earlier this week.
The child's mother is Michelle Laxalt, 58, the daughter of former Senator Paul Laxalt of Nevada who served for 12 years before leaving the Senate in 1987.
In her statement, Ms. Laxalt said, "one night's mistake" led to her becoming pregnant more than 30 years ago.
In his statement, Domenici said his family has known for several months and apologized to his wife saying he was "very sorry" for his behavior. Domenici and his wife have eight children together.
"I'm not willing to cast the first stone but we're accountable for those things and that accountability shows up sometime at the most in opportune moments. We're called to live our lives to different standards and we in public should do that and we need to recognize it," said Congressman Pearce.
Domenici and Michelle Laxalt said they released their statements now because they thought someone else would attempt to reveal the situation to the media.