Two Republican candidates throw in early bids for 2022 New Mexico gubernatorial race

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —While the race for New Mexico governor is still about a year and a half away, three candidates have already announced their bid.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham kicked off her reelection campaign earlier this month. Less than two weeks later, Republican Greg Zanetti also announced his campaign.

Zanetti, who is a former New Mexico National Guard Brigadier General, now works in the business of wealth management.

“Wouldn’t you want a governor who really understands money? Wouldn’t you want a governor who has a heart to defend the people? And don’t you want a governor who really understands borders? I do, and I believe I am uniquely qualified,” Zanetti said.

Zanetti is the second Republican to announce intentions to run for governor. Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block made his announcement a few weeks ago.

Republican voters will find that Block and Zanetti differ on some key issues. For example, Block has aligned himself with former President Donald Trump. Zanetti, however, appears to be distancing himself from the polarizing ex-president.

“This isn’t about Donald Trump. It’s not about one person, it’s about a bigger message,” Zanetti said.

Despite their differences, Zanetti and Block still see eye-to-eye on some key issues. Both candidates believe Gov. Lujan Grisham is wrong for New Mexico.

“Michelle is proud of where New Mexico stands today. Michelle is proud New Mexico ranks last in education. Michelle is proud New Mexico ranks first in child poverty,” Block said.

“We had this autocratic governor come down and impose all these rules where we shut down businesses, locked down the kids, we shut the state down, and as the facts changed and we learned more about COVID, she didn’t adjust,” Zanetti said.

The candidate who wins the Republican primary will square off against Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham next month.

The governor announced her run for a second term earlier this month over a crowd of shouting protesters.

“In spite of that, I’m running for reelection for another four years,” the governor said.

In her brief speech, Gov. Lujan Grisham said she’s promise to continue to protect New Mexico and continue investing and building a better state.

Election Day for this race is Nov. 8, 2022.