SANTA FE — U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich is once again wading into contested Democratic primary election races.
The state’s senior senator recently endorsed three incumbent New Mexico House Democrats — Reps. Kristina Ortez of Taos, Susan Herrera of Embudo and Andrea Romero of Santa Fe — who are facing intra-party challenges in June.
Ortez is running against Florence Miera in House District 42, Herrera is trying to fend off a challenge from Marlo Martinez in House District 41 and Romero faces two Democratic opponents — Henry Roybal and Ryan Salazar — in House District 46.
The latest round of endorsements are not out of the ordinary for Heinrich, who has proven willing to take sides in Democratic primary races in New Mexico, with mixed results.
Two years ago, he endorsed two progressive challengers to incumbent Democratic state senators. Both challengers, Siah Correa Hemphill of Silver City and Pam Cordova of Rio Communities, won their primary contests, though Cordova lost to Republican Joshua Sanchez of Bosque in that year’s general election.
Meanwhile, Heinrich also endorsed Democrat Garrett VeneKlasen in the 2018 state land commissioner race. VeneKlasen ended up losing a three-way primary to Stephanie Garcia Richard, who went on to win the general election.
The three state House races are not the only contested contests Heinrich has picked a favorite in this year. He has also endorsed Bernalillo County District Attorney Raúl Torrez’s campaign for attorney general and Gabe Vasquez’s bid for the southern New Mexico-based 2nd Congressional District, among other races.
Torrez is vying with Brian Colón, currently the state auditor, for the Democratic nomination for attorney general, while Vasquez is running against fellow Democrat Darshan Patel in the June 7 primary election. The winner of that race would face off against U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-N.M., in the November general election.