-- Yet another millionaire Democratic candidate has bitten the dust. In a closely watched race on June 23 in New Mexico, wealthy state Senator Phil Maloof lost to Republican Heather Wilson, who will replace the late GOP Representative Steven H. Schiff. If the special election is a harbinger for November, expect megabuck, mud-slinging matches. With the Republicans' narrow margin at stake and no compelling national issues, both parties will go all out in as many as 50 close contests. In New Mexico, both sides stepped up attack ads toward the end. GOP leaders put the squeeze on members of Congress, who ponied up a record $280,000 for the cash-strapped Wilson, a former Bush Administration arms negotiator.

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