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Former Health Secretary Grisham Announces for Congress

Associated Press
      Former state Health Secretary Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Thursday that she's seeking the Democratic nomination in the 1st Congressional District.
    "You need someone who will fight for you in Congress and I'm that person,'' Grisham said in an interview after her announcement.
    The seat is being vacated by Republican Heather Wilson, who said last week she would run for U.S. Senate in the wake of the announcement by New Mexico's senior senator, Pete Domenici, that he will retire in January 2009 because of health reasons.
    Albuquerque City Councilor Martin Heinrich announced in May that he would seek the Democratic nomination in the district. Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White announced Wednesday for the Republican nomination in the Albuquerque-dominated district.
    Grisham, 47, has worked in state government since 1991. A lawyer, she was director of the state Agency on Aging under former Govs. Bruce King and Gary Johnson, and continued in that post under Gov. Bill Richardson, who elevated it to cabinet rank. In 2004, he named her secretary of the Department of Health.
    Before joining state government, she directed the Lawyer Referral for the Elderly Program.
    The theme of her campaign: that Congress and the Bush administration are not paying attention to education, health care, Social Security and other domestic issues because of the war in Iraq.
    Grisham said she can "forge relationships, bridge partisan politics and focus on things that mean something to people.''
    "I've got the experience and the commitment and the dedication to do something about these domestic issues and improve the quality of life for people here in New Mexico,'' she said.
    Grisham was born in Los Alamos and grew up in Santa Fe, where she graduated from St. Michael's High School. She received a bachelor of university studies degree from the University of New Mexico and her law degree from its law school.

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