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Roswell businesswoman enters GOP race in 2nd Congressional District

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Southeast New Mexico businesswoman Claire Chase has become the third Republican in the 2nd Congressional District race.

Claire Chase

She announced her candidacy Tuesday, joining former state Rep. Yvette Herrell and Las Cruces businessman Chris Mathys in bids to challenge Democratic Rep. Xochitl Torres Small in November 2020.

“Our state is ranked worst in the nation for education and 50th in child well-being because liberal, career politicians are pushing radical policies that support open borders, undermine the industries that power our economy, and threaten our way of life,” Chase said in a release. “We need a businesswoman, a mother, and a conservative who will step up and fight for good paying jobs, better schools for our kids, and a strong, secure border.”

The Roswell resident and native is the youngest and first woman chair of New Mexico Oil and Gas Association. She is the government relations director at Mack Energy.

“I’ve taken on the liberals in New Mexico,” Chase said. “I’m ready to take the fight to the socialists in Washington because New Mexico needs fearless leaders in Congress who will support our President and get the job done.”

Chase introduced Vice President Mike Pence, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross at an event promoting the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement last week in Artesia.

Pence seemed to hint about Chase’s plans after his introduction.

“She is an advocate for a growing New Mexico economy,” the vice president said. “Would you join me in thanking her for her leadership past, present and future?”

Her entry could shake up the Republican race where Herrell – the party’s nominee in 2018 – had been viewed as the early favorite after announcing her candidacy shortly after her loss to Torres Small.

Herrell had secured the endorsement of the House Freedom Caucus and was recently named to the National Republican Congressional Committee’s first round of Young Guns. Her campaign announced the endorsement of the organization FreedomWorks for America on Tuesday. She also had the endorsement of several of her former Republican colleagues in the New Mexico Legislature.

Torres Small, the only announced Democratic candidate, had a sizeable fundraising advantage at the end of the second quarter of the Federal Election Commission’s filings for 2019.

She had more than $1 million cash on hand compared with Herrell’s $300,000. Mathys had a little more than $150,000.

 

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