More candidates toss in name for New Mexico congressional race | KOB 4

More candidates toss in name for New Mexico congressional race

Tommy Lopez
Updated: January 08, 2021 06:53 PM
Created: January 08, 2021 05:56 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- More people across the political spectrum have announced they’d like to be considered for New Mexico’s First Congressional District seat.

A special election is expected in March or April, after the announcement that President-Elect Joe Biden chose Rep. Deb Haaland, who won re-election in the district in November, to be his Interior secretary.

The latest Democrat to announce they want to toss their name in the ring is Victor Reyes, an aide to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

The other Democratic hopefuls who’ve formally announced their intentions are state lawmakers: Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez and Rep. Melanie Stansbury.

On the Republican side, KOB 4 has confirmed that Jared Vander Dussen, who ran in the 2020 primary, and Eddy Aragon, a local conservative radio host, would like to run.

Many others have expressed interest for a party nomination and to run as an independent.

Lonna Atkeson, a UNM political science professor and KOB 4 political analyst, says it’s not the voters who these hopefuls have to win over to get a nomination. There's no primary this time.

“You know, it’s interesting because people are throwing their names into the hat so to speak, but, the hat really is this elite group of party central committee members who get to decide,” she said. “It’s a small group of political elites, so this is really the cigar smoking, back door politics going on.”

Neither the Democratic nor the Republican Party have confirmed who they’re considering.

“It’s all about their insider status in the party, which is very different from a normal election,” Atkeson said.

The district is one that Democrats have controlled for a decade.

Rep. Haaland still has to be confirmed in D.C. first, and there’s no date set right now for the special election.

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