A Republican who served in the state House of Representatives for three terms announced that she will run for Congress in New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District.
Sharon Clahchischilliage, a member of the Navajo Nation and currently a member of the Public Education Commission, will challenge incumbent Teresa Leger Fernandez in the longtime Democratic stronghold.
“It’s time for Congress to hear a voice like mine, someone who has served our country, taught in the classroom, raised on the family farm, and fought against the radicals in Santa Fe,” Clahchischilliage said in a press release. “I am running for Congress to restore commonsense values to Washington and deliver results for the hardworking families of New Mexico. From energy production to protecting the farmers, ranchers, and herders, New Mexicans need someone who has lived their experiences, not tell them how to live.”
The Republican would have an uphill battle, as the district has been the most Democratic-leaning district in the state since its inception in 1983. Republicans have held the district just once, when Republican Bill Redmond won a special election in 1997 to replace Bill Richardson when Richardson left to join then-President Bill Clinton’s cabinet.
Leger Fernandez has won two elections to the seat, defeating Republican Alexis Martinez Johnson by 17.4 percentage points in 2020 then by 16.4 points in a rematch in 2022 after redistricting.