by Antonia Gonzales
Debra Haaland won Tuesday’s democratic primary election for New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District. If elected in November, Haaland, from Laguna Pueblo, would become the first Native American woman in Congress. In an interview following her primary win, she recognized the efforts of other Native women running for office including Paulette Jordan, a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and the Democratic nominee in the Idaho governor’s race.
“Maybe it’s the year for Native women because there are a lot of us running across the country,” Haaland said. Jordan made a personal appearance on behalf of Haaland’s campaign in the day leading up to the election.
Haaland’s campaign priorities include health care, education, and the environment.
“Moving to 100 percent renewable energy and having that economy create thousands of jobs, health care for every single New Mexican, and getting big money out of politics. I think all of (those) things would benefit Indian Country as well,” she said.
Haaland also says there are specific issues for Native Americans she has capacity to address, including treaties and the U.S. Government’s trust responsibility. Tribal leaders across the country are raising concerns about Trump Administration plans such as Medicaid work requirements and the reorganization of the Interior Department.
“I’m going to make sure I do everything thing I can to make sure that those voices are at the table and their perspectives are considered when any policy that effect Indian tribes are put forth,” Haaland said.
Haaland is a former state democratic party chairwoman. She will face Republican Janice Arnold Jones and Libertarian Lloyd Princeton in November. They are vying for the seat being vacated by Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham who won the Democratic nomination in the New Mexico governor’s race.
(Photo: New Mexico 1st Congressional District democratic primary winner Deb Haaland and Idaho Gubernatorial democratic winner Paulette Jordan by Andi Murphy)