SANTA FE — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham was not selected as Joe Biden’s running mate, but she has landed a prime speaking slot at next week’s Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee.
The first-term Democratic governor is scheduled to speak Aug. 18 along with former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., among others.
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., who was announced as Biden’s vice presidential pick on Tuesday, is also scheduled to speak that evening, according to the DNC.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the four-day Democratic National Convention will be conducted largely remotely, with events and speeches broadcast live online.
Lujan Grisham plans to deliver her speech remotely from New Mexico, though the exact location is still being determined, her spokesman Tripp Stelnicki said.
He also said the prime-time speaking slot would give the governor the chance to talk to a national audience about why Biden should be elected president in November over incumbent Donald Trump.
Lujan Grisham had been mentioned as a possible running mate for Biden, and several political insiders have also speculated she could be appointed to his cabinet — specifically the U.S. Health and Human Services Department post — if Biden wins the presidency.
In response to the speculation, Lujan Grisham has said she is committed to helping Biden’s campaign but has insisted her focus is on being governor.
However, governor has made time to hit the virtual campaign trail for the former vice president in recent months, appearing in several online Biden campaign events and fundraisers.
Longtime New Mexico political observer Brian Sanderoff said Lujan Grisham’s speech to the DNC could intensify speculation about her being a possible cabinet pick in a Biden administration.
“I think we’re going to continue to see Gov. Lujan Grisham’s profile and visibility increase in national Democratic Party politics,” he told the Journal.
Sanderoff, who is the president of Albuquerque-based Research & Polling Inc., also pointed out Lujan Grisham has received national media attention for her handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Lujan Grisham is the nation’s first Latina Democrat to be elected governor. She served three terms representing the Albuquerque-based 1st Congressional District before being elected governor in 2018.
Her predecessor, GOP ex-Gov. Susana Martinez, who was the state’s first elected Latina governor, also spoke at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., in 2012.