New Mexico's 1st Congressional District candidates try to appeal to voters | KOB 4

New Mexico's 1st Congressional District candidates try to appeal to voters

Chris Ramirez
Updated: May 27, 2020 06:22 PM
Created: May 27, 2020 05:04 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Three people are running to represent the Republican Party in New Mexico's 1st Congressional District, which makes up the heart of the urban and central area of New Mexico.

The winner of the race between Michelle Garcia Holmes, Jared Vander Dussen and Brett Kokinadis will face off against Democratic incumbent Deb Haaland in November.


Michelle Garcia Holmes is trying to appeal to Republican voters with her long history of working in law enforcement, and as a pro-life advocate.  

"You know, we are known in the nation as the late-term abortion capitol of the nation, doing abortions up to the baby's date of birth," Garcia Holmes said. "Our community really thinks this is an egregious thing that is happening."

Jared Vander Dussen, who just graduated from law school, believes his youth is part of his appeal. He is also a staunch advocate for Pres. Trump.

"I am a supporter of the president," Vander Dussen said. " You don't have to agree with everything the president does, nor should you, and that's where I am at. When I get to DC, I will work with the president."

Brett Kokinadis is appealing to Republican voters with his message about doing more for the small business community.

"Small businesses are struggling. New Mexico has been in these positions where we put focus on economic development, and we haven't been successful," Kokinadis said. "Every day our goal is to fight to survive and solve small problems and big problems to stay competitive against big box retailers."

On the Democratic side, Deb Haaland is hoping for a second term in office. 

In the November general election, Haaland is expected to use her record to try to appeal to a wide cross section of voters. 

We have made sure that Sandia Labs, Kirtland Air Force Base, here in the district, have the funding they need for all the research and all the training that goes on in those two entities," she said. "Those are so important to our economy here in New Mexico, and we've been able to deliver for this district and the entire state."

A Republican has not served in the 1st Congressional District since 2009. The Republican winner of the primary will have an uphill battle in trying to defeat Haaland because there are significantly more registered Democrats in the district, and Haaland remains popular in Washington, and with many constituents. 

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