February 28, 2017

National group endorses Lujan Grisham for governor

Andy Lyman

Michelle Lujan Grisham

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.

“No state has ever elected a Democratic woman of color to serve as governor, and Michelle is poised to be the first — giving millions of women and families a powerful new voice at the table,” the endorsement read. “After years of failed leadership and embarrassing scandals from Republican Governor Susana Martinez, who is term limited, New Mexico is ready to move forward — and Michelle is ready to lead the way.”

Lujan Grisham announced her candidacy in last December, days after U.S. Sen. Tom Udall said he would not run for governor. Attorney General Hector Balderas and Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales are also considering runs as Democrats, as are Fast Company co-founder Alan Webber and former Univision executive Jeff Apodaca.

On the Republican side, Lt. Gov. John Sanchez and U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce have said they would consider a run for governor. Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry is also expected to also consider running for the seat, as he will not run for a third term as mayor.

Last year, EMILY’s List backed Maggie Toulouse Oliver for Secretary of State. Toulouse Oliver successfully defeated Nora Espinoza in the general election.

The National Republican Congressional Committee announced it would target the congressional seat Lujan Grisham is leaving as a possible pick-up opportunity in 2018.