November 20, 2019

Elisa Martinez jumps into Senate race

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A prominent anti-abortion activist filed paperwork to run for U.S. Senate on Wednesday.

Elisa Martinez, who founded the New Mexico Alliance for Life and is the group’s executive director, is the third Republican to run for the open U.S. Senate seat after filing her statement of candidacy with the FEC. Only one Democrat is currently running for the position.

She announced her candidacy in Albuquerque shortly after. If elected, the member of the Navajo Nation would be the first Native American woman U.S. Senator nationwide and the first Latina U.S. Senator from New Mexico.

Martinez had already sent out fundraising appeals while she considered running for the position.

Martinez joins former Donald Trump administration official Gavin Clarkson and Albuquerque contractor Mick Rich in the Republican primary. U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján is the lone Democrat seeking the position.

The seat is open because U.S. Sen. Tom Udall announced he would not seek a third term. Udall previously served in the U.S. House and as New Mexico’s Attorney General.

Correction: This story initially said, if elected, Martinez would be the first Native American U.S. Senator. She would be the first female Native American U.S. Senator.