SANTA FE, N.M. — The field has grown to five candidates — four Democrats and one Republican — for the 3rd Congressional District seat being vacated by Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, who has chosen to run for the Senate seat being abandoned by Tom Udall.
Democrats Gavin Kaiser and Teresa Leger have filed declarations of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission,
Leger is a Santa Fe attorney whose bio on her law firm’s website says she has served as general counsel for several Native American Tribes. She was also appointed by President Clinton as a White House Fellow and served as a White House liaison with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. President Obama also appointed her to the President’s Advisory Council for Historic Preservation.
Leger graduated from Yale and got her law degree from Stanford. She was the attorney that represented a small group of voters who won a lawsuit against the city of Santa Fe, forcing the city to implement ranked-choice voting, as approved a decade before by Santa Fe voters, for the 2018 municipal election.
Kaiser lists a Santa Cruz address. According to a Linkedin page, he is founder and executive director of the Oratory of Mystical Sacraments, which describes itself as “an all-encompassing religious organization that respects, values, and draws upon the ethical religious, mystical, and spiritual arts and wisdom of any and all of Earth’s peoples.”
The Journal previously reported that Republican Brett Kokinadis, of Santa Fe, and Democrats Mark McDonald of Raton and state Rep. Joseph Sanchez of Alcalde have announced their intentions to run to succeed Luján.
Many others have said they are considering jumping into the race. A fifth Democrat from Rio Rancho also declared his candidacy to the FEC, but his Facebook page indicates he died recently.