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More gubernatorial endorsements roll in

New Mexico Democratic gubernatorial candidates are raking in endorsements with more than a year before Election Day 2018.

Jeff Apodaca, an Albuquerque businessman, earlier this week rolled out the endorsement of Lily Ledbetter, a women’s equality activist who is the namesake of a 2009 federal law aimed at making it easier to file equal-pay lawsuits.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham recently got the backing of one of the state’s most politically active environmental groups when the Conservation Voters New Mexico Action Fund announced its endorsement.

The group reported spending more than $43,000 during the 2016 election cycle, primarily for Democratic legislative candidates. Lujan Grisham has also received the endorsements of various labor unions and nine Albuquerque-area Democratic legislators.

The two candidates are vying for the Democratic nomination for governor next year, along with fellow Democrats Peter DeBenedittis of Santa Fe and state Sen. Joseph Cervantes of Las Cruces.

Steve Pearce, who has represented New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District for 12 years, is the lone Republican running in the race.

FREE CHILE: The New Mexico Roundhouse is no stranger to heated debate, but it’s the taste buds – not vocal cords – that could get fired up today.

Two House Democrats – House Speaker Brian Egolf of Santa Fe and Rep. Nathan Small of Las Cruces – plan to hold a Capitol chile roast that is intended to highlight Hatch green chile and its importance in New Mexico’s economy.

The event, at 11 a.m., is sponsored by several groups, including the Hatch Chile Association, the New Mexico Chile Association and a local film union. Three thousand pounds of green chile will reportedly be given away at the event, which is open to the public.

Chile is serous business in New Mexico, which launched new “Chile Capital of the World” license plates earlier this year.

However, the number of acres of chile in New Mexico has dwindled in recent years due to a farm labor shortage, decreased water availability and growing competition from Mexico and neighboring states of Arizona and Colorado.

Dan Boyd: