ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Former University of New Mexico law school associate dean and anti-domestic violence advocate Antoinette Sedillo Lopez on Thursday officially announced her run for New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District seat in 2018.
Sedillo Lopez, who has for the last three years run of Enlace Comunitario, a nonprofit organization supporting immigrant women who have experienced domestic violence, said the direction of politics under the Donald Trump presidency is alarming to her and spurred her to run.
“I love our community, and I love our state. When I see what is going on in Washington I just see our constitution being ignored,” she said Thursday after sending out an email announcing her candidacy. “This is the highest and best use of my knowledge, my skills, my values, to go to Washington and fight for our constitution and our state and our community.”
She said Trump is “creating an oligarchy where the one percent get richer and richer and the rest of us don’t” and several administrative actions show a “total lack of understanding of the constitution.”
“I could be a voice in the Congress talking about the constitution. I know I could do it with a lot of authority and a deep background,” she said Thursday.
Sedillo Lopez, raised in Los Chavez farming community south of Albuquerque, spent 27 years as professor at UNM, including eight as director of clinical law programs and associate dean for clinical affairs with a focus on social justice and civil rights issues.
She lives in Albuquerque with her husband and family.
The Albuquerque-based congressional seat could attract a large field of candidates — both Democrats and Republicans – because incumbent Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, plans to vacate the seat and run for governor.