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Native American Dem leader eyes Congress seat in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The outgoing leader of the New Mexico Democratic Party is running for an open congressional seat and hopes to become the nation’s first Native American congresswoman.

Debra Haaland recently filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission to run for the state’s First Congressional District.

Haaland, a member of Laguna Pueblo, is seeking to succeed U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, an Albuquerque Democrat who is stepping down to run for New Mexico governor. The open congressional race is expected to draw a number of candidates.

The University of New Mexico graduate ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2014 but garnered national attention for becoming the first Native American on a major party’s gubernatorial ticket in New Mexico to seek that seat.