ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Deb Haaland has won the primary for New Mexico's 1st Congressional District, placing her on track to become the first Native American woman in Congress.
Haaland is seeking to replace Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is leaving her post to run for Governor. The former Democratic state party leader is an enrolled citizen of the Pueblo of Laguna.
"Tonight, New Mexico made history," Haaland said in a speech Tuesday, calling hers a "victory for working people, a victory for women and a victory for everyone who has been sidelined by the billionaire class."
According to the state’s Indian Affairs Department, there are 23 tribes in New Mexico, and Native Americans make up a little more than 10% of the total population.
Haaland will face Republican Janice Arnold-Jones, who ran unopposed, in November.
"Thank you to the tens of thousands of volunteers, grass-roots donors and supporters who won this election," Haaland said after results revealed she had outpolled former U.S. attorney Damon Martinez and social justice activist Antoinette Sedillo Lopez. "Our win is a victory for working people, a victory for women and a victory for everyone who has been sidelined by the billionaire class."
Haaland also took a shot at President Trump, saying he and "the billionaire class should consider this victory a warning shot. The blue wave is coming."
Haaland, a lawyer, is a strong abortion-rights advocate and supports universal health care —
"Medicare for all." She says she wants to "keep fossil fuels in the ground," favoring 100% renewable energy sources.
She also has endorsed elimination of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
"We must be welcoming to those who flee their country because of violence and abject poverty in hopes of a better future — that’s who we are as Americans," she says.
Before taking the reins of the state party, Haaland worked on President Obama’s 2007 campaign.
In 2014, she ran for lieutenant governor, a failed campaign.
"Our campaign is about putting people before corporate profits, standing up to bullies like the fossil fuel industry," she said. "And ensuring every New Mexican and American has a chance to thrive regardless of our skin color, neighborhood, religion, gender, who we love or the size of our bank account."