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Monday, October 25, 2010
U.S. Interior Secretary Endorses Heinrich
By Michael Coleman
Journal Washington Bureau
Rep. Martin Heinrich's re-election effort got a boost Sunday when U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar came to Albuquerque to endorse the Democratic congressman and help him raise campaign cash at a private fundraiser.
Salazar, in a Journal interview, said Heinrich's engineering degree and work on the House Natural Resources Committee makes him a good fit for a district that is home to high-tech Sandia National Laboratories and Kirtland Air Force Base. Salazar also said Heinrich's support of President Barack Obama's clean-energy initiatives make him a key ally in Congress.
"New Mexico is one of the top five states in the country for the new energy frontier," Salazar said. "We're doing a tremendous amount of work still on conventional oil and gas, but when you look at the potential for solar, wind and geothermal energy New Mexico ranks near the very top. He has a huge interest in renewable energy and he's working hard to make sure that the world knows about clean energy jobs and New Mexico."
Salazar, a former Colorado senator whose family helped settle the city of Santa Fe centuries ago, said he has deep ties in New Mexico.
"My mother grew up 60 miles northwest of Albuquerque, and my father's side of the family moved from New Mexico in the 1850s to Colorado," he said. "We used to haul a lot of hay into Albuquerque to the dairies and horse barns of the South Valley and different places. New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment and it's always been a place where I have a lot of roots."
Heinrich faces Republican candidate Jon Barela in the Nov. 2 general election.
Former Sen. Pete Domenici, a New Mexico Republican, endorsed Barela on Saturday. Salazar also traveled to Santa Fe on Sunday to headline a rally for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Diane Denish.