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Retired New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici reveals secret son

February 20, 2013|By Morgan Little
  • Former Sen. Pete Domenici announced that he fathered a son outside of his marriage 30 years ago.
Former Sen. Pete Domenici announced that he fathered a son outside of his… (Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty…)

Saying he was “very sorry for my behavior,” former Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) has revealed that he secretly fathered a son more than 30 years ago with the daughter of former Sen. Paul Laxalt (R-Nev.).

“More than 30 years ago, I fathered a child outside of my marriage,” the 80-year-old Domenici said in a statement to the Albuquerque Journal. “The mother of that child made me pledge that we would never reveal that parenthood, and I have tried to honor that pledge and so has she,” said Domenici, who served six terms in the Senate.

He said his wife, Nancy, and family have known about the affair for “several months.” He said he decided to go public because the news apparently was about to break elsewhere.

“I have apologized as best as I can to my wife, and we have worked together to strengthen our relationship,” Domenici said.

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“I deeply regret this and am very sorry for my behavior,” he said. “I hope New Mexicans will view that my accomplishments for my beloved state outweigh my personal transgression.”

Domenici chaired the Senate Budget Committee and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee before he retired in early 2009, citing health problems. He was on George H.W. Bush’s short list for vice president in 1988.

In a separate statement, Michelle Laxalt said “one night’s mistake led to pregnancy” and she chose to raise the son as a single parent.

“Given the fact that both my father and the father of my child were United States senators, I felt strongly that I would make this choice according to my values and would not seek advice, input or permission,” she said.

The child has been identified as Las Vegas lawyer Adam Paul Laxalt, a former U.S. Navy officer and Georgetown University graduate.

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