December 13, 2016

Lujan Grisham running for governor

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. It’s why this is a beginning,” Lujan Grisham said in the video. “But for the last six years with a governor who refused to acknowledge the problems even exist … we haven’t been able to solve anything.”

Related: Udall said no, but some Dems still looking at 2018 run for governor

Among New Mexico’s problems she mentioned were “the second highest unemployment rate in the country” and “persistent poverty and high addiction rates.”

By state law, Martinez cannot run for a third consecutive term.

Lujan Grisham also spoke about some of her higher-profile efforts in her political career, from nursing reform while the Secretary of the Department of Aging to saying she “saved jobs at [University of New Mexico Hospital] and Kirtland Air Force Base.”

This comes a week after U.S. Sen. Tom Udall announced he would not run for the position. Many thought Udall would be the favorite to win the Democratic nomination if he were to run for governor.

Lujan Grisham first was elected to Congress to represent the Albuquerque-area congressional district in 2012. Before that, she was a Bernalillo County Commissioner and worked as a Cabinet Secretary in three different New Mexico gubernatorial administrations.

Lujan Grisham likely won’t be the only Democrat to seek the open seat.

A spokeswoman for Hector Balderas, the state Attorney General, said he would make a decision on a potential run for governor soon.

Santa Fe mayor Javier Gonzales also said he was considering a run.

Other potential Democratic candidates include former Fast Company magazine co-founder Alan Webber and former Univision executive Jeff Apodaca. Webber unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic primary for governor in 2014.

On the Republican side, Lt. Gov. John Sanchez, Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry and U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce are all possible candidates for governor.