New Mexico: Potential Heinrich Foe Files FEC Paperwork

Posted June 15, 2009 at 5:20pm

Freshman Rep. Martin Heinrich (D) may soon have his first challenger.

Jon Barela, a former vice chairman of the New Mexico GOP and past president of the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, has filed papers for a Congressional bid, though he has made no formal announcement about his political plans.

Barela held a small fundraiser at the end of May, which must have yielded at least $5,000, triggering the necessity to file papers with the Federal Election Commission.

At least one other Republican, Kevin Daniels, who owns a chain of funeral homes, is taking a look at the race.

Heinrich won an open-seat race last year to become the first Democrat to hold the 1st district seat since the 1960s. Despite electing Republicans through the years, the Albuquerque-based district leans Democratic, and it isn’t quite clear yet just how vulnerable Heinirch is.