The Progressive Change Campaign Committee is backing state Sen. Eric Griego in the Democratic primary for New Mexico’s open 1st district, the group’s first endorsement of the 2012 cycle.
Griego remains the only announced Democrat after entering the race nearly two months ago. However, NMPolitics.net has reported that former Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, who lost the gubernatorial race to Republican Susana Martinez last year, and former Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez are both considering running for the Albuquerque-based seat.
Another Democrat looking at the race is Terry Brunner, an Obama appointee to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in New Mexico and former state director for Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.). Bingaman is retiring, and Rep. Martin Heinrich (D) is vacating the 1st district seat to run for the Senate.
The PCCC opposes moderate Democrats, such as those who align with the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition of House Democrats, and it warned in its endorsement email that several moderates are considering entering the race.
“Eric is one of the most progressive members of the New Mexico Senate,” the PCCC wrote in the email to supporters. “There’s no excuse for a Blue Dog to represent this Democratic district. With your help, we’ll elect one of the boldest progressive candidates of 2012 instead.”
The PCCC, which was formed by former operatives from MoveOn.org and the labor community, spent $3 million last cycle and plans to raise $3 million to $5 million to help elect progressives to Congress in 2012.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.