New Mexico US Rep. Deb Haaland (D-Albuquerque), the former chair of the New Mexico Democratic Party and one of the first Native American females to be elected to the House of Representatives, has been nominated as President-Elect Joe Biden’s Secretary of the Interior. Upon confirmation and resignation from the House, a special election will be scheduled to replace her in the New Mexico congressional delegation.
Rep. Haaland will be the third Democratic House member to join the Biden Administration. She will join Reps. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) and Marcia Fudge (D-OH). Mr. Richmond has been appointed as the director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, while Ms. Fudge is slated to become Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Unlike the other two vacancies, there is potential for a competitive special election in NM-1. Though a Democratic seat, Republicans will have at least two potential candidates capable of running competitive campaigns, ex-Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry and 2020 US Senate nominee Mark Ronchetti, a former television weatherman. A strong Democratic field is sure to form. It appears that President-Elect Biden carried the 1st District by a substantial margin, but the seat has been hotly contested in previous elections.
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