The race to replace Rep. Martin Heinrich's (D-Albuquerque) seat in Congress got a little more crowded on the Democratic side today as Michelle Lujan Grisham made her candidacy official.
In a press release, the Bernalillo county commissioner said she's joining to 2012 race because the country's under attack.
"A band of right wing radicals in Congress has hijacked our country and put the interests of their corporate masters ahead of the middle class, seniors and the most vulnerable among us," Lujan Grisham said in a statement. "I am running for Congress because we need to stop the insanity."
Her opponents for the Democratic primary are state Sen. Eric Griego (D-Albuquerque) and former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez. New Mexico politics blogger Joe Monahan writes that although raising campaign money will be a challenge for Lujan Grisham, her candidacy makes the winner of the primary anyone's guess. He adds that she could may appeal to moderates.
Lujan Grisham is the grandchild of Eugene David Lujan, the first Latino to serve on New Mexico's Supreme Court. In 2008, she ran for the Democratic nomination for the same seat but placed third behind Rebecca Vigil-Giron and Heinrich.
Photo courtesy of Facebook.
The press release:
Bernalillo County Commissioner Michelle Lujan Grisham Announces
Candidacy for Democratic Nomination for U.S. Congress - District 1
Today I'm joined with a few of my closest friends, family and supporters and with my constituents, John and Kari Bishop to announce my candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives.
I'm running for Congress because we are under attack in this country. A band of right wing radicals in Congress has hijacked our country and put the interests of their corporate masters ahead of the of the middle class, seniors and the most vulnerable among us.
Our economy is crumbling, health care is becoming more expensive and inaccessible and our families are struggling to survive. Congress' answer to this has been to cut investments in our people while preserving tax breaks for oil companies and billionaire hedge fund managers. Worst of all, they have proposed dramatic cuts in Medicaid---which over 500,000 New Mexicans depend on and, even worse, they would end Medicare as we know it. They will turn it into a voucher program that shifts the burden of costs onto our seniors.
I am running for Congress because we need to stop the insanity. People need a champion to fight against these extreme policies and instead focus on creating more jobs. As a widow, single mother and caregiver, I have personally dealt with the everyday problems that real people face. My entire career has been one of advocacy for those who cannot fight for themselves - from senior citizens and the disabled, to children and those without health insurance. I have always worked for people and not the powerful and connected.
I have spent my entire career bringing accountability and transparency to government. From cleaning up county government to taking on the worst nursing homes and health care facilities in the state. As an elected official and as a former Cabinet Secretary for the Departments of Health and Aging, I'm not afraid to take responsibility or to strike a balance as we resolve the economic crisis that is crippling this country.
I understand that while we take on the economy, work to create jobs, salvage the health care system and stabilize our military presence, we cannot forget that everyday New Mexicans are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and get help for the issues that are critical to them.
New Mexico needs a champion in Washington – we can't move on improving the quality of people's lives and bringing jobs home to New Mexico if we don't have the fortitude and commitment to deal with our everyday issues.
I will never forget that public office is a public trust. My commitment stands to my constituents in Bernalillo County and to my fellow Commissioners on the Bernalillo County Commission. I will remain accountable to the County and will continue to deliver for my constituents for the entire tenure of this Congressional campaign.