President Joe Biden on Tuesday weighed in on the race to fill New Mexico’s vacant seat in the House of Representatives, endorsing fellow Democrat Melanie Stansbury.
The race to represent the 1st Congressional District has drawn national attention, in part because Democrats are holding on to a slim margin of power heading into next year’s election cycle. Democrats have 219 seats in the chamber, Republicans 211. There are five vacant seats, including the Albuquerque-based seat that will be determined in a June 1 special election.
“As a scientist and state legislator that works on land, water and community issues, Melanie Stansbury has fought for Albuquerque her entire career,” Biden said in a statement. “I am proud to endorse Melanie for Congress because I know she has the grit and determination to deliver real results for all New Mexicans.”
The seat is vacant after former Rep. Deb Haaland resigned when she was confirmed as secretary of the interior.
In addition to Biden, Haaland and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., have endorsed Stansbury.
“It is truly an honor to have the support of President Joe Biden. I am running for Congress to work with his administration to invest in the future of New Mexico and center the needs of our people – bringing in jobs, building our infrastructure, and protecting our water and land,” Stansbury said.
Republican candidate Mark Moores also recently received significant endorsements, including from the Albuquerque Police Officers Association. Moores was also endorsed by former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who was the ambassador to the United Nations for two years in the Trump administration.
RACE ALLY: La Luz Trail Run organizers appear to have picked up an important ally in their effort to bring the iconic race back to the Sandia Mountains.
Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., said in a statement to the Journal last week that he was frustrated by the “threat” to the race’s future, and the senator said the race needs to be saved for future generations.
Cibola National Forest officials have told race organizers they will no longer permit the famed event, in which runners scamper up 4,600 feet of elevation over 9 miles to the top of the Sandias on the first Sunday in August. The race dates back to 1965, which was 14 years before much of the Sandias became an official wilderness area.
But Forest Service officials said that because the race cuts through the Sandia Mountain Wilderness, the event should never have been allowed within with wilderness boundary.
Forest Service officials told race organizers they would need to get some sort of “legislative exemption” for the race to return.
“I share the frustrations of the New Mexico running community in seeing this threat to a beloved event that has been around for more than five decades. … Race organizers have long worked in coordination with the Sandia Ranger District of the Cibola National Forest to ensure their event does no damage to the important natural and cultural resources along the trail,” Heinrich said in a statement. “I hope that the Forest Service and all parties can come together to find a way forward for this race that has become one the premier trail races in the country, a powerful driver of our local outdoor recreation economy, and a real ‘bucket list’ experience for so many New Mexicans. We need to save La Luz Trail Run for future generations.”
VOTE AGAINST THE COMMISSION: Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-N.M., last week voted against the launch of an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.
“The Senate has already initiated a very detailed investigation into the riots of January 6th. There is also an investigation being conducted by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies,” Herrell said in a statement. “For those reasons, coupled with the fact the House bill limited the Commission’s scope to just January 6th and no other days or events leading up to it, I could not support the bill.”
Ryan Boetel: email@example.com