Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said she would do whatever is necessary to help Joe Biden’s presidential ticket when asked about the persistent speculation that she could be named as the former Vice President’s running mate.
“I’m going to be doing whatever I need to be doing as the first female Democratic Hispanic governor in the country, to support a Biden presidency,” she said.
And in recent weeks, as speculation turns to who Biden will decide to be his running mate ahead of this summer’s convention, Lujan Grisham’s name continues to come up.
Biden already said he would have a woman on his ticket. And Lujan Grisham reportedly told political allies that Biden began the process of vetting the first-term governor.
Lujan Grisham previously served in the U.S. House including as the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. She is currently the vice chair of the Democratic Governors Association.
“Yes, there is flattering news about a variety of incredible women around the country and I appreciate the recognition of the work that we’re doing in the state and our experience,” Lujan Grisham said.
She also referred to it as “political speculation and, while flattering, irrelevant to making sure that I focus on doing my job as a governor.”
Having a New Mexican as a potential running mate is nothing new. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, and Susana Martinez, a Republican, both were named as potential running mates for their party’s nominees during their time in office.
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich was also reportedly listed as a possibility for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s running mate.
Richardson himself ran for president in 2008, bowing out after finishing a distant fourth place in the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire primaries.
Former Gov. Gary Johnson briefly ran as a Republican for president in 2011, but dropped out after being unable to qualify for debates. He then won the Libertarian nomination in 2012 and again in 2016. He received over 3 percent of the vote in 2016, the highest total by a Libertarian candidate in history.
Later in the press conference, Lujan Grisham was asked if she would accept the position if offered by the Biden campaign.
Lujan Grisham did not directly answer either way.
“Being governor today in New Mexico is the job I want and it’s the job I’m completely dedicated to,” Lujan Grisham said. “So those are speculations that I’m not paying any attention to in that regard.”