SANTA FE – EMILY’s List, the influential D.C.-based political action committee that backs female candidates running in local, state and national campaigns, has made its pick in northern New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District — Santa Fe lawyer Teresa Leger Fernandez.
The national PAC bills itself as a financial supporter of pro-choice Democratic candidates as well as women who “can make significant contributions to education, health care, voting rights, and economic equality.”
In New Mexico, EMILY’s List supported the recent successful campaigns of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, U.S. Reps. Deb Haaland and Xochitl Torres Small and Secretary of State Maggie Tolouse Oliver.
Leger is one of two women in the race to succeed U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, who is vacating his House seat to run for U.S. Senate in 2020. The other is Valerie Plame of Santa Fe, nationally known for being outed as a CIA operative by the administration of President George W. Bush and also an author.
Leger Fernandez, a Las Vegas, N.M. native, declared her candidacy for the crowded CD3 Democratic primary last month. Other Democrats who have filed, in addition to Plame, are First District Attorney Marco Serna, state Rep. Joseph Sanchez of Alcalde, consultant and former government employee Rob Apodaca and Gavin Kaiser of Santa Cruz.
Securing an endorsement from EMILY’s List is a significant success for Leger Fernandez, according to Brian Sanderoff, president of Albuquerque’s Research & Polling, Inc.
It will come with additional campaign resources, credibility when seeking money from other D.C. organizations, and boost her name recognition. At this point in the race, Sanderoff says, more voters are likely to know the EMILY’s List name more than Leger Fernandez’s.