New Mexico’s first congressional district had a 3-way primary race in the Democratic party that was decided yesterday. The current Democratic representative will not be returning to office, as he is running for a seat in the senate. The primary contenders:
- State Senator Eric Griego
- Former Albuquerque mayor Marty Chavez
- Bernalillo County Commissioner Michelle Lujan Grisham
All three candidates have strong local roots and records, and identify themselves as progressives on their campaign sites.
The campaigning got heavy and somewhat negative, according to news snippets I’ve read. Michelle Lujan Grisham won with 40% of the vote; Griego got 35%, Chavez, 25%.
Michelle Lujan Grisham and Eric Griego both have strong, unequivocal statements on their websites about women’s rights and reproductive health; Chavez addresses LGBTQ rights and the Affordable Care Act, but does not go into any detail on reproductive rights the way the other two candidates did.
Lujan Grisham ran this advertisement in the closing days of the campaign:
Did one ad make the difference in this race? I doubt it, but it is instructive to see that having a strong pro-choice, pro-Planned Parenthood message can be part of a winning campaign.
The November general election will now be between Michelle Lujan Grisham and a former Republican state representative, Janice Arnold-Jones, whose website simply says:
I believe in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms. I believe that life is sacred from conception to natural death. I believe the family is the foundation of a strong America and that marriage between a man and a woman is the best foundation for strong families.
So, in a competition for an open congressional seat, we have a strong pro-choice woman Democratic candidate going head to head with an anti-choice Republican woman whose campaign rhetoric leans to the regressive right and who ran unopposed.
This ought to be an interesting race to watch. Here’s hoping New Mexico can keep this seat safely Democratic and pro-choice.