Tom Udall

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver preparing run for Senate
Would face Luján in primary for seat being vacated by Udall retirement

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver is considering a run to become the state's first female Senator. (photo courtesy of Maggie Toulouse Oliver for Secretary of State)

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver is “gearing up” for a run for the state's open Senate seat, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

She plans to make an announcement this month, said Heather Brewer, Toulouse Oliver's campaign manager for her 2018 campaign for secretary of state.   

Rep. Ben Ray Luján officially announces New Mexico Senate bid
Luján is expected to be a front-runner in the race for Tom Udall’s seat

Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., officially entered the race for an open Senate seate Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ben Ray Luján officially announced his plans to run for the Senate Monday, ending a week of speculation over whether the New Mexico Democrat would give up his position as a rising star in House leadership for a rare shot an open seat. 

“There’s been a lot of speculation over the last week, so I wanted you to hear it directly from me,“ Luján said in a video posted to Twitter Monday morning. “I’m running to be your next United States Senator.”

Ben Ray Luján to announce New Mexico Senate run Monday
Santa Fe congressman is the No. 4 Democrat in the House

Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., will announce Monday that he is running for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 11:44 a.m. | Rep. Ben Ray Luján plans to run for the Senate in New Mexico and is set to officially announce his candidacy Monday, according to two sources familiar with the Democrat’s decision.

The seat opened after Democratic incumbent Tom Udall announced Monday he would not seek re-election.

Senate Democrats take up HR 1 battle cry
Udall: ‘Now the ball is in Sen. McConnell’s court’

Sen. Amy Klobuchar says her party sees messaging potential in HR 1. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Every Senate Democrat, taking their House colleagues’ cues, signed on to their chamber’s version of a major campaign finance, voting and ethics overhaul on Wednesday.

The measure, nearly identical to a bill that passed the House earlier this month, serves primarily as a campaign messaging document for the 2020 elections. That’s because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed not to bring it up for consideration in the chamber.

Latino Victory Fund wants to draft Ben Ray Luján for Senate in New Mexico
Influential House Democrat is among a long list of potential candidates

Rep. Ben Ray Luján is considering a run for Senate in New Mexico. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A political action committee that works to recruit Hispanic candidates across the country is putting its weight behind Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Luján for the newly open Senate seat in New Mexico.

The Latino Victory Fund announced its “Run, Ben Ray, Run!” digital campaign Wednesday in an exclusive release to Roll Call.

Udall is retiring, but he will leave behind a weighty environmental legacy
Udall described environmental destruction to Earth as a crisis that demands pressing urgency in a retirement statement

Ranking member of the subcommittee Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M, attends a Senate Appropriations Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing in Dirksen Building. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Sen. Tom Udall departs the Senate in 2021, he will leave behind a weighty environmental legacy built with bipartisan help, progressive principles, and a clarion call to tackle climate change.

In a statement on Monday announcing he would not seek re-election in 2020, the New Mexico Democrat described environmental destruction to Earth as a crisis that demands pressing urgency.

Sen. Tom Udall won’t seek a third term in 2020
‘The worst thing anyone in public office can do is believe the office belongs to them,’ New Mexico Democrat says

Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., is not running for re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Mexico Democratic Sen. Tom Udall announced Monday that he will not seek re-election in 2020, creating an open seat in a state that has swung decidedly toward the Democrats in recent years. 

“I’m confident that we could run a strong campaign next year to earn a third term, because of all the work you and I have done together, along with my wife, Jill, and my incredibly dedicated staff,” he said in a statement. “But the worst thing anyone in public office can do is believe the office belongs to them, rather than to the people they represent.” 

‘Zombie’ spending marches on as HR 1 faces Senate death, complaint says
Measure would address alleged misuse of campaign accounts after lawmakers leave office

Allegations of using campaign money for personal expenses after leaving office is the subject of a Federal Elections complaint against former Republican Rep. Ander Crenshaw of Florida. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As the Senate prepares to face off in the coming weeks over House Democrats’ sweeping political ethics overhaul bill, a provision aimed to curtail so-called “Zombie” campaign spending is getting renewed attention. 

That’s the use of campaign money to pay for personal expenses after a lawmaker has left office. And it’s the subject of two Federal Elections Commission complaints filed this week involving former Republican lawmakers, Florida’s Ander Crenshaw and Georgia’s John Linder

House passes HR 1 government overhaul, sending it back to campaign trail
With Senate not planning to take it up, Democrats plan to continue fight into 2020

Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., led Democrats' effort to draft the HR 1 government overhaul package as chair of the Democracy Reform Task Force. The House passed the measure Friday on a party-line vote. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With passage of HR 1, House Democrats’ political money, ethics and voting overhaul, the mammoth proposal now heads exclusively to the 2020 campaign trail, where candidates in both parties say they believe their message will woo voters.

The House passed the measure 234-193 Friday morning. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the bill’s foe in chief, has assured his side he plans to officially ignore it in his chamber, refusing to bring it for a vote even as the Kentucky Republican said Wednesday that he believed his party could win elections against people who support it.

Tim Kaine and the war on zombie wars
Virginia Democrat says he is slowly gaining support for a more robust congressional role in military adventures

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., is continuing his fight against “zombie” wars. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Little by little, Sen. Tim Kaine thinks fellow members of Congress are coming around to his point of view that the legislative branch should be more assertive when it comes to war powers.

The Democrat from Virginia has been among the most persistent advocates for the Senate debating and voting on authorizations for using military force when needed, and pulling them back when it’s past due. His latest push is against what he calls “zombie authorizations.”