On Thursday, after reports of Rep. Deb Haaland being tapped by Joe Biden for Secretary of the Interior in his fictitious presidential cabinet, the vultures in the media already began circling Haaland’s congressional district, with Democrats looking to hold onto the Albuquerque-area seat.
According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, state Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez (D-Albuquerque), who is an ally of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, unsuccessfully ran against Haaland in the 2018 Democrat primary for the seat.
“I’m definitely thinking about it. … But right now I’m focused on everything that we need to get done during the legislative session,” said Sedillo Lopez.
The Republican frontrunner for the seat appears to be former candidates Jared Vander Dussen, who ran for the 1st District seat, and Mark Ronchetti, who ran against Ben Ray Luján for New Mexico’s open U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Tom Udall.
The Republican Party would not comment to the Santa Fe New Mexican about who is in contention to reclaim the District, but Mike Curtis, a spokesman for the Party told them, “We do have people who are interested, but that’s all I can tell you at this point.”
Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver’s office did not give any pertinent information on a special election if Haaland were indeed successful in being a member of Joe Biden’s cabinet.
The New Mexican reports:
The New Mexico secretary of state will call for a special election after the vacancy occurs, “which will presumably be when [Haaland is] confirmed by the Senate and vacates her House seat,” said Alex Curtas, a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s Office.