- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 16, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The former leader of the New Mexico Democratic Party is officially running for an open congressional seat and hopes to become the nation’s first Native American congresswoman.

Debra Haaland announced her bid Tuesday after recently filing a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission to run for the state’s 1st Congressional District.

Haaland says her focus will include economic and educational opportunities for New Mexicans along with a commitment to clean energy.

A member of Laguna Pueblo, she’s seeking to succeed U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, an Albuquerque Democrat who’s stepping down to run for New Mexico governor.

The open congressional race is expected to draw a number of candidates. City Councilor Pat Davis, law professor Antoinette Sedillo and physicist Dennis Dinge also have announced their bids for the seat.

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