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New Mexico congressman endorses Democrat as successor

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – Six-term U.S. Congressman and Senate candidate Ben Ray Luján is endorsing a fellow Democrat to fill his northern New Mexico House district in the November election.

Luján endorsed Santa Fe-based attorney Teresa Leger Fernandez in her campaign for the 3rd Congressional District seat against Republican Alexis Johnson.

In a statement Tuesday, Luján praised Leger Fernandez for her experience in developing rural health centers, protecting rural irrigation systems and promoting other critical infrastructure. He also noted her activism on voting rights issues.

Leger Fernandez has run as an advocate for “Medicare for all” that signifies the creation of a government-run, single-payer system for health insurance, while pushing for new investments in renewable-energy projects and supporting abortion rights. Johnson, an environmental engineer for the petroleum industry, has cast herself as a defender of gun rights and opponent of abortion.

Luján was the lone contender in the Democratic primary and now confronts Albuquerque television meteorologist Mark Ronchetti in the race to succeed Democratic Rep. Tom Udall, who is retiring.

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