ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Days before the Democratic Party chooses its nominee to fill the 1st congressional district seat vacated by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the All Pueblo Council of Governors (APCG) endorsed Acoma Pueblo citizen Georgene Louis for the nomination.

Louis is serving her fifth term as a state representative in the New Mexico state legislature.

Seven other Democrats are seeking the nomination to run in a special election to fill the congressional seat on June 1. The State Central Committee’s 170 members, with 20 other elected officials, will meet on Tuesday to interview the eight candidates and will cast their votes.

“The APCG believes that there may be a handful of excellent candidates who would serve NM’s CD-1 well, however, New Mexicans can send a message nationally that a Pueblo voice in the Congress is a win for all people. Rep. Louis has a proven track record for sound leadership with exceptional credentials and distinction in the New Mexico House of Representatives. She has earned the trust of her constituents and championed meaningful and progressive legislation that has helped New Mexico families and its Indigenous population,” APCG Chairman Wilfred Herrea Jr. said in a statement.

Haaland, a tribal citizen of the Laguna Pueblo, and Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS), a tribal citizen of the Ho-Chunk Nation, made history when they were elected in November 2018 as the first two Indigenous women to serve in Congress. The Pueblo governors feel another Native candidate should be elected to the congressional seat.

“We were tremendously blessed to have a strong and profound voice in Congresswoman Deb Haaland. Especially in this historic moment, it’s vital that New Mexico does not lose the unique voice and fierce advocacy that she brought to Congress. We are honored to endorse Representative Louis’ candidacy because we know that, as an equally qualified Pueblo person, she is the right leader to continue advocating for all New Mexicans,” Herrea said in a statement.

Louis is the chair of the New Mexico House Committee on State Government, Elections and Indian Affairs. She has successfully sponsored critically important and complex public policy issues, including legislation to bolster the economy, elevate the rights and contribution of women, require equity at all levels within state government, and create opportunities to improve education, health care access, honor and protect tribal sovereignty and the government-to-government relationship between the state of New Mexico and Pueblos and other tribal nations.

During the recent 2021 New Mexico legislative session, Rep. Louis sponsored several high-profile pieces of legislation, including the New Mexico Civil Rights Act, co-sponsored HJR1, Early Childhood Constitutional Amendment, co-sponsored HB7 to repeal the abortion ban, and sponsored HB 50, an important step toward environmental justice. She has been a strong proponent for the environment, small business, women-owned businesses, increasing the minimum wage, job creation, and supporting working people in their quest for equity and justice.

Across Indian Country, over 120 tribes, individually or through tribal organizations, have endorsed Louis, including the Coalition of Large Tribes (COLT) and Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes (MAST).

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