- By Levi Rickert
ALBUQUREQUE, N.M. — Melanie Stansbury, a Democrat, won the open seat congressional seat on Tuesday that was vacated when Interior Secretary Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo) resigned on March 16 to become the first Native American to hold a secretarial cabinet position.
Stansbury, a New Mexico state representative, beat New Mexico state Sen. Mark Moores, her Republican opponent, by a landslide. Stansbury captured 60 percent to 36 percent for Moores.
Moores is a Hispanic and a former football star at the University of New Mexico.
Stansbury told her supporters at a hotel in the Old Town section of Albuquerque: “We have to protect our lands and waters and build a more sustainable future …We must protect these lands and lift up our farmers and ranchers. Tackle global climate change — and invest in our clean energy future.”
The 1st Congressional District is Democratic. It turned blue in 2008. Haaland won her reelection in the district last November with 58.2 percent of the vote beating her opponent Michelle Garcia Holmes who received 41.8 percent. Biden carried the district 60 percent to 37 percent in 2020.
New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District is nearly half white, 42 percent Hispanic, five percent Native American and less than three percent Black and Asian, according to census data.
Stansbury served as a White House Fellow during the Obama administration on the Council on Environmental Quality as a policy advisor.
She was elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives for the 28th district in November 2018. She upset incumbent Jimmie Hall, a Repubican, who held the seat for seven terms.
First Lady Jill Biden and Doug Emhoff, the second gentleman, made visits to the district to help Stansbury.
More Stories Like ThisIndian Country Praises Interior Sec. Haaland’s Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative
Interior Sec. Haaland Announces Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative to Shed Light on the Dark History of the Boarding School System
Leonard Peltier Freedom Ride Arrives in Washington, D.C., Raises Awareness for His Release
Sec. Deb Haaland to Announce Next Steps to Address Legacy of Indian Boarding Schools
Rep. Tom Cole and Rep. Sharice Davids Meet to Discuss Priorities for Congressional Native American Caucus
While you're here...
We launched Native News Online with the belief that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. We hope it inspires you to make a gift to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Typically, readers donate $20, but any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.