The lone announced candidate for the 2018 New Mexico governor’s race got the backing of a national group Tuesday. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat who represents the Albuquerque area in Congress, received the endorsement of EMILY’s List. The organization seeks to elect Democratic women who support abortion rights to office. The group noted that only two Democratic women governors serve in the country now. In addition to the Democratic women, two Republican women also hold their state’s highest office, including current New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.
The national Republican group tasked with winning seats in Congress announced their list of targets of seats currently held by Democrats for the 2018 elections. On that list are two New Mexico congressional seats, including one that a Republican has never held for a full term. Those seats, the 1st Congressional and 3rd Congressional Districts, would likely be tough races for Republicans, based on recent election results. The National Republican Congressional Committee announced 36 Democratically-held seats as areas for potential pickups to increase their advantage in the House. Republicans currently outnumber Democrats 240-193, with two seats open after lawmakers left those seats to take other positions in government.
Many Albuquerque-area political figures are rumored to be gearing up for a congressional campaign after New Mexico Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham announced she plans to leave the seat and run for Governor. There are still no definitive announcements or declared candidates, but the handful of people NM Political Report spoke to this week gave similar answers—that they have been encouraged to run and are giving it serious consideration. Some said they don’t want to run for family reasons, in particular because of the amount of travel that comes with the job. The state’s congressional members often travel back and forth from Washington D.C. and New Mexico. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich’s family, for example, lived in Albuquerque while he served in the U.S. House before Lujan Grisham.
U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham made it official on Tuesday and announced she will be running for governor of New Mexico. Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, said in a press release that she filed as a candidate for governor with the Secretary of State’s office. She also released a video announcing her intention to run, and didn’t shy away from criticizing current Gov. Susana Martinez. The video is embedded below. “We won’t solve our problems overnight.
After U.S. Sen. Tom Udall said he would not run to be the next governor, some Democrats released statements about potentially running for the state’s highest office. A spokeswoman for Hector Balderas, the state’s Attorney General, said he is considering a run for governor in 2018, and the mayor of Santa Fe says supporters have asked him to run. This is on top of U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who previously said she would decide whether or not to run for governor by the end of the year. Related: Tom Udall says he will not run for governor in 2018
Caroline Buerkle, who worked on campaigns for Balderas in the past, sent a statement to media Wednesday afternoon after Udall’s announcement that he would remain in the US Senate. “Attorney General Balderas is seriously considering a run for governor and has deep concerns about the future of our state,” Buerkle said.
U.S. Sen Tom Udall will not run for governor in 2018, and cited the election of President Donald Trump as one reason why. Udall said he will remain in the U.S. Senate, despite speculation earlier this year that he would throw his hat in the ring for the Democratic nomination. His current Senate term ends in 2020. Udall said in a statement Wednesday that he was “very grateful” from the support of those who “personally urged” him to run for governor in 2018. Related: Days after election, attention turns to governor’s race
“While I firmly believe that I have the backing and the experience to properly address all these issues, I have determined, after consulting with my family, colleagues and constituents, that New Mexico will be better served by my remaining in the United States Senate,” Udall said.
The results of the 2016 elections have barely come in and already attention is turning toward 2018. There is no presidential election in 2018, but New Mexico will elect a new governor and many statewide elected officials will be up for reelection. U.S. Sen. Tom Udall is perhaps signalling an end to his time as an elected official in Washington D.C. and a run for governor. “I’ve heard from many New Mexicans who are urging me to run for governor. I’m flattered by their support; I have an open mind, and I’m considering it,” Udall, a Democrat, said in a statement.
When asked about who voters would prefer in a very-early look ahead to the 2018 gubernatorial elections, two names jumped out as frontrunners. Attorney General Hector Balderas is the favorite among Democrats, while Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry is favored among Republicans. Gov. Susana Martinez is in her second term. She is not able to run for a third term. See Also: Martinez approval rating below 50 percent
The poll question asked about four politicians named as possible 2018 candidates.