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Politics Notebook: Pelosi joining Lujan Grisham at Albuquerque event

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, now the minority leader of House Democrats, was scheduled to be in Albuquerque today to discuss women’s issues with Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham and local advocates.

The invitation-only event at the Albuquerque Museum is intended to share what Pelosi calls “an economic agenda for women and families” with local business and political leaders.

The meeting will feature a discussion about paycheck fairness for women, who according to Pelosi’s office, individually earn an average $8,700 per year less than men for the same work in New Mexico.

Other topics on the agenda include a push to mandate paid sick leave for all employees to help workers afford to care for ill children and options to improve access to sufficient, affordable child care services.

A visit from the most powerful Democrat in the U.S. House to Lujan Grisham’s New Mexico district might be a signal that the first-term Democrat is making a good impression with party leadership in the House.

But greeting Pelosi with open arms carries with it a potential political risk. Republicans have worked tirelessly to cast Pelosi as an out-of-touch liberal and to paint Democrats who work closely with her as beholden to her political agenda.

Lujan Grisham’s welcoming Pelosi to Albuquerque today might speak to the freshmen representative’s confidence heading into her first re-election bid next year.

No Republican candidate has announced plans to run against Lujan Grisham for her 1st Congressional District seat in November 2014.

On the road: Gov. Susana Martinez has spent some considerable time on the less-traveled roads in recent weeks, touting elements of her economic development and education agendas in small towns from Santa Teresa to Zuni.

A highlight of the official travel has been trips to elementary schools – including stops in Lordsburg, Deming and San Miguel – where state-funded reading books were distributed to first graders.

Other stops, such as those in Zuni and Silver City, also included efforts to promote development downtown business districts in those communities.