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Linda Serrato running for Santa Fe House seat

SANTA FE — Another candidate is entering the race for the Santa Fe House seat being vacated by state Rep. Jim Trujillo, who announced earlier this month he will not seek reelection for District 45 seat he has occupied since 2003.

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Linda M. Serrato

Linda M. Serrato, a Democrat who has served as political director for Congressman Ben Ray Luján, told the Journal on Wednesday that her 2-year-old daughter is one reason she decided to make her first bid for political office.

“There are a lot of young families like mine investing their future in Santa Fe,” she said. “I may be a first generation New Mexican, but I want this to be where my daughter finds her future.”

A Chino, California, native who earned a degree in public policy at Stanford University, Serrato first came to New Mexico in 2008 as part of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, working the eastern part of the state. She returned years later while working for the Fairness Project, a charitable organization that advocates for economic and social welfare issues throughout the country.

About that time, she connected with Luján and began working at his congressional office and then on his current campaign for U.S. Senate.

Building a better future for her daughter’s generation is a big part of what her campaign will be about, she said.

“I’m excited about what the future holds and harnessing opportunities,” she said. “We shouldn’t have to be choosing between the environment and education. We should be able to do both.”

Serrato is the second candidate to announce intentions to run for the District 45 seat. Fellow Democrat and former Santa Fe city councilor Carmichael Dominguez is also seeking the position.

Serrato said it was just coincidence that she is announcing her candidacy in House District 45 just a day after Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, Luján’s only Democratic opponent, dropped out of the U.S. Senate race and endorsed Luján.

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