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Renee Villarreal, Robert Apodaca also possible 3rd CD candidates

SANTA FE – Santa Fe City Councilor Renee Villarreal says she is contemplating making a run the U.S. House seat being vacated by Ben Ray Luján, who is running for the seat being given up by Tom Udall in the U.S. Senate.

Villarreal, a Santa Fe native, said she had been planning on running for re-election on the City Council.

But since Luján’s announcement on Monday, “I have been asked by friends, colleagues and family to consider running, given my experience on the Council, my previous work in Northern NM and also family ties in Sandoval County,” she said in an email. “I’m considering the different ways I can serve the communities I grew up in and care about so much.”

Robert Apodaca, a Santa Fe political consultant and former regional official for the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the administration of former President Barack Obama, said he also is “seriously contemplating” running for the 3rd Congressional District seat next year.

“And I’m a small business owner,” he said, adding that through his consulting business he works with local communities on such issues as health care, education and renewable energy.

Numerous other political figures have said they will or may jump into the race.