Governor meets with federal officials - Albuquerque Journal

Governor meets with federal officials

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham with fiancé, Manny Cordova, after her inaugural address on Jan. 1, 2019. The two are set to wed Saturday in Washington, D.C.. (Eddie Moore/Journal)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham will proceed with her Washington, D.C., wedding plans this weekend, but has turned the visit to the nation’s capital into a business trip – with nuptials tacked on – as wildfires burn across New Mexico.

The Democratic governor will get married to longtime fiancé Manuel Cordova in a Saturday ceremony officiated by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, the Governor’s Office confirmed Friday.

A spokesman for the governor said earlier this week no decision had been made about whether to postpone the wedding ceremony, due to wildfires that have burned thousands of acres across New Mexico, displaced an estimated 15,000 to 18,000 people and destroyed between 1,000 to 1,500 structures and homes.

While Lujan Grisham ultimately decided to proceed with the wedding, she also met Friday with U.S. Forest Service Chief Randy Moore and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack regarding disaster relief for New Mexico farmers and ranchers and the prescribed burn lit by U.S. Forest Service personnel that started one of the fires.

That wildfire – the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon fires actually burned together into a single fire complex – has burned more than 300,000 acres across northern New Mexico, making it the largest wildfire in state history.

Meanwhile, the governor also spoke Friday with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, a spokeswoman said, to reiterate her request that the Federal Emergency Management Agency approve all aid requests from New Mexicans.

Lujan Grisham has also called for the federal government to cover the entire cost of the damages and recovery associated with the fire – instead of requiring the state to cover a portion of such costs – and spoke with President Joe Biden earlier this week.

After being invited by the governor to visit New Mexico and meet with state residents affected by the wildfires, Biden said he intends to do so. But no date for an official visit has been set.

As for the wedding, Lujan Grisham, 62, who has two adult children, was previously married but her husband, Gregory Grisham, died of an aneurysm while jogging in 2004.

She and Cordova met through mutual friends and have been together since 2012 but had to delay a planned wedding ceremony last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Jared Leopold, a spokesman for the governor.

He also said Friday the governor would use personal funds to pay for the cost of her travel to and from Washington, D.C.

Lujan Grisham is scheduled to fly back to New Mexico on Sunday and will meet with local officials in Las Vegas, N.M. upon her return, according to the Governor’s Office.

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