Vote set for June 1 to fill Haaland seat in New Mexico’s 1st District

Parties have narrow window to pick nominees for heavily Democratic seat

Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kan., left, takes a selfie with Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M.,  on the House steps on March 11, the last day Haaland voted in the chamber before her confirmation as Interior secretary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kan., left, takes a selfie with Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., on the House steps on March 11, the last day Haaland voted in the chamber before her confirmation as Interior secretary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Posted March 17, 2021 at 6:01pm

The New Mexico secretary of state on Wednesday ordered a June 1 special election to replace former Rep. Deb Haaland, who resigned her 1st District seat this week after being confirmed as secretary of the Interior. 

The district is considered safely Democratic, with Haaland winning reelection by 17 points in November as Democratic nominee Joe Biden beat President Donald Trump by 23 points. 

The real action in the election could come in the next two weeks, as roughly 200 state party central committee members will pick a Democratic nominee on March 30. Already, eight Democrats have announced campaigns, including four members of the state legislature, a trial attorney who is the widow of a former state supreme court justice, a top aide to the governor and two community activists.

Candidates have until Thursday to announce they are running, said Miranda van Dijk, communications director for the state Democratic Party. 

The state Republican Party has not announced the date that it will select its nominee. Under state law, its results must be certified by April 6. 

The Democratic candidates include: 

  • State Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez who ran against Haaland in the 2018 primary; 
  • State Rep. Melanie Stansbury, a former Hill staffer who worked in President Barack Obama’s Office of Management and Budget; 
  • State Rep. Georgene Louis, an attorney and member of the Acoma tribe; 
  • State Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero, a longtime public administrator and community and economic developer who is also active in national Latino civil rights and advocacy groups;
  • Randi McGinn, a trial attorney who is the widow of former New Mexico state supreme court chief justice Charles Daniels; 
  • Victor Reyes, a top aide to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham; 
  • Selinda Guerrero, Movement for Black Lives organizer;
  • and Francisco Fernández, an LGBTQ advocate who would be the first member of Congress who is HIV positive.
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