Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal
U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland recalled her extraordinary journey – from a 28-year-old first-time college applicant to community organizer to congresswoman – during her farewell remarks on the House floor Tuesday.
“When I was a little girl, none of this crossed my mind as a possibility for me,” the New Mexico Democrat said.
Haaland on Tuesday officially resigned from her seat representing New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She will soon be sworn in as the next secretary of the interior after being confirmed by the Senate on Monday.
In 2018, Haaland was one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress. And in her relatively short time there, six of her bills became law, she said.
“I thought I would have more time here,” she said, “but we are called to service in different ways.”
Alex Curtas, a spokesman for the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office, said a special election will determine who will fill Haaland’s seat.
The election will take place some time between 77 and 91 days from Tuesday. The secretary of state will announce the date of the election in the coming days, he said.
There won’t be a primary election. Instead, the state’s major political parties – Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians – will select their own candidates using their own rules, Curtas said. He said the secretary of state will also announce the signature requirements for independent candidates to get on the ballot.
Democrats who have declared their candidacies are Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, Randi McGinn, Melanie Stansbury, Georgene Louis, Patricia Roybal Caballero, Selinda Guerrero, Victor Reyes and Francisco Fernández.
Republicans seeking the seat are Eddie Aragon, Jared Vander Dussen, Jonathan Gonzalez, Mark Moores, Michaela Chavez, Ronnie Lucero and Tracy Trujillo.
John McDivitt has announced his run as a Libertarian candidate.
Former state Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn is running as an independent candidate.