fbpx
 

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Campaign for Georgene Louis, a five-term New Mexican state representative and a tribal citizen of the Acoma Pueblo, launched an ad on Monday to glean support for her run to fill the congressional seat vacated last week by Interior Secretary Debra Haaland, who made history last week when she was sworn in as the first Native American ever to serve as a presidential cabinet secretary.

Louis is so far the only Native American who has announced her candidacy for New Mexico's 1st congressional district, an area that’s largest voter base lives in Albuquerque, N.M. She joined three other Democrats who have announced their candidacy, including Rep. Melanie Stansbury and Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, and Albuquerque attorney Randi McGinn. The filing deadline is April 6, according to New Mexico Secretary of State.

A special election will be held on June 1 to fill the vacant congressional seat. Early voting begins on May 15.

“We need to ensure that the values that (Haaland) reminds people about continue,” Louis told Native News Online earlier this year. “And we want to, again, make sure that Native Americans have a seat at the table and are able to share our voices.”

The minute and a half video connects Louis’ own story of perseverance against all odds to that of Native Americans’ stories everywhere.

Louis grew up on Acoma Pueblo, which sits about 40 minutes west of Albuquerque by car.

“Our tribe’s ancestral home has stood strong since time immemorial,” she said in the video. “It’s kept today as it was then. No running water, no electricity. But we had power. The power of community, culture, and clan.”

As young single mothers who worked their way through college and law school before eventually getting involved in politics, Louis and Haaland have similar stories.

“When I had my daughter at sixteen, they said I couldn’t be a lawyer,” Louis said in the ad. “That I’d be another statistic. They tell us single mothers don’t have power...They tell us—all of us—that if you grew up poor, if you don’t look a certain way, that you can never be in a position of power. But that’s not our story. Our story is about the power of the people.”

The special election is scheduled for June 1. Each of New Mexico’s major political parties may nominate a candidate to run in the special election. New Mexico's Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver encouraged New Mexicans within Congressional District 1 to vote in the special election to ensure legislative representation.

"We're already going to go 78 days without a member of congress for the congressional district, with that community not having a voice," Toulouse Oliver told a local news network. To register to vote, or to check your registration, click here.

More Stories Like This

Michigan Governor Appoints 1st Native Citizen to Court of Appeals
Michigan Governor Meets with State's Tribes
Manitoba Man Charged with Killing 3 More Indigenous Women, House of Commons Rejects State of Emergency Request
SEEN & HEARD at the White House Tribal Nations Summit
Native News Weekly (December 4, 2022): D.C. Briefs

Do you appreciate a Native perspective on the news? 

For the past decade-plus, we’ve covered the important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools, we have been there to provide a Native perspective and elevate Native voices.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.  Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $25 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10.  Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news. 

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

About The Author
Jenna Kunze
Author: Jenna KunzeEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Staff Writer
Jenna Kunze is a staff reporter covering Indian health, the environment and breaking news for Native News Online. She is also the publication's lead reporter on stories related to Indian boarding schools and repatriation. Her bylines have appeared in The Arctic Sounder, High Country News, Indian Country Today, Tribal Business News, Smithsonian Magazine, Elle and Anchorage Daily News. Kunze is based in New York.