Updated: May 29, 2020 06:24 PM
Created: May 29, 2020 04:49 PM
Quick Glance: New Mexico's 3rd Congressional district makes up all of northern New Mexico. Congressman Ben Ray Lujan is giving up the seat to run for the U.S. Senate. The vacancy has created a huge field of Democrats and Republicans who want to replace Lujan.
On the Democratic side, there are seven candidates: John Blair, Teresa Leger Fernandez, Laura Montoya, Valerie Plame, Joseph Sanchez, Marco Serna and Kyle Tisdel.
The winner of this primary will face off against the winner of the Republican primary. The Republican candidates include: Karen Bedonie, Alexis Martinez Johnson and Harry Montoya.
The Democratic Candidates
John Blair is from Santa Fe. He has a long history of working in government.
"Experience matters right now," he said. "With all that we are facing, we can't afford to elect someone into Congress who will be learning on the job. It's reckless."
Joseph Sanchez is a state legislator who represents the Espanola area.
"I'm asking all the viewers to believe in me," he told KOB 4. "I've been successful at most things I've done in my career, whether its professionally or politically. I've witnessed things first hand and I will be a fighter for New Mexico."
Kyle Tisel is an environmental lawyer from Taos.
"I didn't grow up aspiring to be a politician, but if we want a different type of politics in this country, we need to start electing different type of politicians," he said.
Laura Montoya is currently the Sandoval County treasurer.
"You can walk with us through this journey and be a part of our team," she said. "It's all about public service, it's about helping people. We've completely changed the way we are campaigning to really help where we can."
Marco Serna is a district attorney, prosecuting cases in Santa Fe and Rio Arriba counties.
"In addition to education, I want to focus on veterans' services," he said. "In a country that spends more than the next 25 countries in defense spending, I think we can divert some of that money to veteran services."
Teresa Leger Fernandez grew up in Las Vegas, New Mexico. She is a lawyer who specializes in environmental law and voting rights.
"I'm going to be asking people for their vote because their vote is a trust in me to go out and represent them with heart, with experience and with passion," she said.
Valerie Plame is a former CIA agent who made national headlines when the Bush administration revealed her identity to retaliate against her husband. She now lives in Santa Fe.
"My candidacy is based on my desire for public service and to fight on behalf of all New Mexicans," she said. "I have a megaphone. I want to use it for good and I would love to earn the support of everyone watching this."
The Republican Candidates
Alexis Johnson Martinez is a gas and oil engineer.
"I'm here to promote oil and gas initiatives in our state. We get 39% revenue in our state from oil and gas, prior to the pandemic, obviously," she said. "So I want to bring those skills to New Mexico and bring common sense, technical savvy and economic expertise to the state."
Harry Montoya served on the Santa Fe county commission and runs behavioral health centers.
"The main reason I jumped into this race is because I feel New Mexico needs a conservative champion," he said. "I consider myself that type of a person all my life. We need to respect and get back to our traditional New Mexican values."
Karen Bedonie is a small business owner in Farmington, but did not participate in KOB 4's candidate interviews.
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