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Chavez drops out of congressional race due to health concerns


Annie Chavez

SANTA FE – Annie Chavez, a Democrat from Albuquerque, said Monday that she has halted her campaign for Congress because of health concerns.

Her departure leaves eight Democrats in the race – all seeking their party’s nomination to succeed U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Chavez, who worked as an aide to then-Sen. Jeff Bingaman, said she dropped out “due to unforeseen health circumstances.”

“New Mexico voters,” she said, “deserve a candidate who can fight with every ounce of their being to boost our economy, ensure our kids are getting the great education they deserve, and create safer communities. Unfortunately, my recent health issues are not allowing me to put forth the effort that I believe is needed to serve New Mexicans in a way they deserve.”

The race is wide-open because Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, is campaigning for governor rather than re-election to the 1st Congressional District. Democrats have held the seat – which covers most of Albuquerque and the East Mountains – since 2009.

The remaining Democratic candidates are attorney Damian Lara; former U.S. Attorney for New Mexico Damon Martinez; Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis; former University of New Mexico Law School Associate Dean Antoinette Sedillo Lopez; Edgewood Town Councilor John Abrams; former state Democratic Party Chairwoman Debra Haaland; physicist Dennis Dinge; and John Flores, a former journalist and military veteran.

Seeking the Republican nomination are former state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones and immigration lawyer Michael Hendricks.

The primary election is June.

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