Third Democrat Vies to Succeed Heinrich in N.M. District

Posted August 17, 2011 at 3:05pm

A third Democrat has entered the open-seat race for New Mexico’s 1st district.

Bernalillo County Commissioner Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Tuesday that she is running for the Albuquerque-based seat, joining former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez and state Sen. Eric Griego in the Democratic primary. Rep. Martin Heinrich (D) is vacating the seat to run for Senate.

“I’m running for Congress because our country is under attack,” Grisham said in her announcement speech. “A band of right-wing radicals have hijacked this country and put the interests of their corporate masters ahead of the middle class, seniors and our New Mexico families.”

This isn’t the first time Grisham has run for the seat. She finished third in the 1st district Democratic primary in 2008, which was the last time the seat was open. Former Rep. Heather Wilson (R) held the seat for five terms before running unsuccessfully for Senate in 2008.

Depending on how the district changes in redistricting, the race could be among the more competitive in the general election next year. Republicans already in the race are Albuquerque City Councilor Dan Lewis and former state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones.