ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — The race for congress in the Albuquerque area has seemed quiet so far, but all three Democratic candidates are hitting the ground and the airwaves with the June 5 primary closing in.
Former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez, State Sen. Eric Griego and County Commissioner Michelle Lujan Grisham are vying to replace Democratic Congressman Martin Heinrich, who is running for U.S. Senate. The candidates said they'll vote to raise taxes on the richest Americans, offer guest worker visas to illegal immigrants who don't cause trouble and fight for Medicare and Medicaid.
Now they are trying to convince voters they can get it done in Washington.
"I'm the only one that can say he's gotten things done," said Chavez.
Chavez points to his three terms as mayor, saying he expanded Emcore, Albuquerque Studios, Sandia Science and Tech Park. He also said he spurred growth on the Westside by supporting infrastructure like Paseo and the Montano bridge.
"There are candidates that talk and then there are candidates that do and that's the tremendous difference between records in this race," said Chavez.
Chavez took a direct jab at his opponent, Griego. The two didn't agree on much when Griego was a city councilor during Chavez's administration. Griego said that's because Chavez often sided with Republicans on key issues.
"I'm a Democrat, and this is a Democratic primary. My coalition has never been a Republican coalition," said Griego.
Griego also said he is the only candidate that has sponsored legislation to raise taxes on the wealthy and cut tax breaks for big oil companies.
"They both talked about it. I have a record of sponsoring on the floor amendments to take out those subsidies," said Griego.
Griego touted his voting record and pointed out Grisham's lack thereof, saying she's only held elected office for 18 months.
"Voting records are not enough. If they were, you've got a voting record of Congress right now," said Grisham.
Grisham said unlike her challengers, she is the only one who can reach across the aisle to help end gridlock in Washington, having worked as a cabinet secretary under both Republican and Democratic governors.
"I've got more than a 20 year history in the private sector, in the public sector, now as an elected official as a small business owner and I've managed to succeed at not only identifying the issues but having an impact," said Grisham. "I'm willing to work with anyone that is clear about making a quality of life difference for my constituents."
According to most recent campaign finance reports, Griego was leading the money race with $709,883. Chavez raised $553,828; Grisham raised $532,171.
Early voting for next month's primary opened Tuesday.
Whoever wins the primary will face former state Rep. Janice Arnold Jones, who has no opposition in the Republican primary. Jones said her top priority is cutting the federal deficit and balancing the budget. She is against raising taxes on the wealthy to do it. Jones also said she would push to tighten up security on the Mexican border and said anyone who came here illegally should not get a free ride to citizenship.
Copyright 2013 KRQE TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Did you like this article? Vote it up or down! And don't forget to add your comments below!
New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.