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Chavez Gets Nod From Bill Clinton In Congress Race

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Marty Chavez got an endorsement from former President Bill Clinton on Tuesday, but the contest for the Democratic nomination for the 1st Congressional District seat won’t be settled until June 5.

Candidates for the U.S. Senate seat of retiring Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., and three U.S. House seats file their paperwork with the secretary of state in Santa Fe today. Pre-primary nominating conventions come next, then primary elections on June 5.

In addition to Chavez, Democrats filing for the 1st Congressional District seat are expected to include state Sen. Eric Griego and Bernalillo County Commissioner Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Robert Redford is among other big names backing Chavez, a former Albuquerque mayor, while Griego has backing from the likes of the Sierra Club and the big public employee union AFSCME.

Grisham, who’s been pushing for money to build an interchange at Paseo del Norte and Interstate 25, may be building support among frustrated Albuquerque commuters.

State Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela recently decided against joining the field for the Republican nomination to the 1st Congressional District seat.

On the GOP side, that leaves former Albuquerque state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones, first-term Albuquerque City Councilor Dan Lewis and retired Army intelligence veteran Gary Smith to file for the seat today.

Senate hopefuls: Rep. Martin Heinrich is leaving the 1st Congressional District seat to run for the U.S. Senate seat, with Bingaman, a fellow Democrat, retiring after 30 years in the job.

The two other Democrats expected to file for the Senate seat today are state Auditor Hector Balderas and Albuquerque community activist Andres Valdez.

On the Republican side, with Lt. Gov. John Sanchez deciding to stay put in his current job, only former U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson and Las Cruces businessman Greg Sowards were expected to file today for the Senate seat.

Other filings: other candidates filings today include candidates for the 2nd and 3rd congressional district seats and the state Court of Appeals.

Candidates for the Legislature and all other seats up for election this year file their official paperwork on March 20.
— This article appeared on page C1 of the Albuquerque Journal

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