ALBUQUERQUE, NM: In a first round of political endorsements for the 2018 election, Equality New Mexico, the largest LGBTQ political advocacy organization in the state, announced its support of Congressional candidates Deb Haaland (NM-1) and Xochitl Torres Small (NM-2), ), along with incumbent U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich and Congressman and DCCC Chair Ben Ray Lujan. (NM-3).
Haaland is running for the open Albuquerque area Congressional seat being vacated by Gubernatorial candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham, and if elected, would be the first Native American woman to serve in Congress.
Of Haaland's endorsement, Executive Director Adrian N. Carver said, "Deb Haaland has exhibited the ability to run a winning campaign in the primary and into the general election. In a crowded field, she maintained a clear advantage in our community survey because she has long advocated for the self-determination of LGBTQ+ New Mexicans. Aside from directly aligning on our issues, Deb has demonstrated an ability to raise the money necessary to win and out-organized her opponents to win the Democratic Party's State Convention. Not only can she win this race, but Native American women deserve representation and a seat at the table in Washington. We look forward to Deb breaking that ceiling and leaving the ladder down for future generations of Native women."
Torres Small is running for the sprawling open Congressional District 3 seat in the Southern part of New Mexico.
Carver said, "The vacancy created by Steve Pearce's run for Governor creates a unique opportunity in Congressional District 2. We must assure all New Mexicans are represented in Congress by people who support their families and want to see them thrive. I'm confident that 2018 is a year that Xochitl will replace Steve Pearce’s hateful rhetoric and deliver the representation LGBTQ New Mexicans in District 2 deserve.”
"While we have two open congressional seats, ready for new voices, we count Sen Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan as steadfast allies and among the strongest advocates for LGBTQ+ New Mexicans.”, says Carver, “Equality New Mexico has endorsed them both before and we’re proud to endorse both incumbents again.”
The endorsed candidates in contested primaries released the following statements:
Xochitl Torres Small: "Equality New Mexico has been an amazing advocate for the LGBTQ community in New Mexico," said Torres Small. "Having partnered with EQNM while working at the UNM School of Law Clinic, I saw firsthand their commitment to ensuring that all New Mexican's civil liberties and rights were protected. I am honored to have their endorsement, and look forward to continuing to work with them through the campaign and beyond."
Deb Haaland: "This endorsement is very personal for me, I've worked with EQNM for a very long time, and I’ll continue to work extremely hard to win this primary so I can champion equal rights for all and protection from all discrimination. In this Trump era, when too many people face increasingly hateful violence, we can't turn our backs for even a moment -- because if we do, Trump will continue to strip away the rights of our LGBTQ family. In Congress, I’ll stand up to Trump and his exclusion of transgender members in our military and I'll fight to make sure Title 9 protects everyone. It’s time that Congress works to truly address the oppression of our marginalized communities.”