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Ex-New Mexico Senator Domenici says had son out of wedlock

Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) speaks to the press at the Capitol in Washington, December 20, 2002. REUTERS/William Philpott
Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) speaks to the press at the Capitol in Washington, December 20, 2002. REUTERS/William Philpott

SANTA FE, New Mexico (Reuters) - Former New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici said on Wednesday he fathered a child out of wedlock more than 30 years ago with the daughter of one of his former colleagues in the senate.

Domenici acknowledged the extramarital affair in a statement published in New Mexico's Albuquerque Journal, saying he worried the information was about to be made public by someone else.

"These circumstances now compel me to reveal this situation," Domenici said.

The 80-year-old Republican and former Senate Budget Committee chairman told the Journal he had an affair with Washington lobbyist Michelle Laxalt, the daughter of Paul Laxalt, a former U.S. senator and Nevada governor.

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

Domenici served in the senate for six consecutive terms from 1973 to 2009 and was the longest serving senator from New Mexico. He retired because of a degenerative brain disease.

He currently is a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington D.C.

Domenici and his wife Nancy have eight children.

(Reporting by Zelie Pollon; Editing by Kevin Gray and Andrew Hay)

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