October 28, 2022

Assistant House Speaker stumps for Stansbury over reproductive rights

Hannah Grover/NM Political Report

U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury is pictured on May 4, 2022, during a visit to Belen.

U.S. House of Representatives Melanie Stansbury, a Democrat who represents New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District, held a rally with Assistant House Speaker Katherine Clark, from Massachusetts on Thursday.

The rally, which took place at an office building on the east side of Albuquerque, was part of an effort to whip up voter support in New Mexico. 

It was the second visit to Albuquerque by a high profile Democrat this week. On Tuesday, Vice President Kamala Harris held a talk about reproductive rights with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, another Democrat who is up for reelection in November.

Stansbury made connections between being what she called a “pro-choice” candidate with also believing in science and democracy.

Stansbury did not refer to her Republican opponent by name, but she is facing a challenge from Republican Michelle Garcia Holmes. She also faces a challenge from Independent candidate Victor Gonzalez.

Democrats have held the 1st Congressional District since 2009, after previously never holding the seat in the state’s three-district era. The district expanded to include areas further from Albuquerque during redistricting.

Stansbury is a former state house legislator. She won a special election to replace U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland after Haaland’s confirmation.

Haaland will also travel to New Mexico this week to campaign for Democratic candidates.

All 435 House districts are up for reelection in November. Currently, the Democrats hold a slim majority in the House with 220 to 212 seats.

Clark focused her remarks on Stansbury’s pro-abortion rights position. She said House Republicans have a “personhood” bill and if they receive a majority of votes in November, House Republicans will push the bill forward.

Personhood bills are framed as policy that protects the embryo, but pro-abortion advocates have said such bills strip pregnant individuals of their rights.

“There are 167 cosponsors of this bill,” Clark said. “A national ban is their commitment.”

President Joe Biden has announced he will visit New Mexico next week.