When Deb Haaland is confirmed as Secretary of the Interior, probably late this winter, a special election will be triggered in NM-01 (the Albuquerque area), a nice safe blue seat where Hillary beat Trump 51.6% to 35.1% in 2016 and then Biden beat him 60.2% to 37.4%. Deb, a decent member of Congress, was reelected in November 58.2% to 41.8%. She may well turn out to be the best member of Biden's largely neoliberal cabinet.
Neither party will be selecting a candidate to replace Haaland with a primary. The district central committees will vote to pick their nominee. Right now the NM-01 central committee has a progressive majority but one of the likely candidates, conservative state auditor Brian Colón, is already trying to get conservative Democrats to run. That said, state Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, the most progressive member of the state legislature, is still favored to get the nomination and win the seat.
Why should you support her? We're going to continue that conversation right to election day-- and hopefully beyond. (First post on that was last week.) But I want to ask you to consider contributing to her campaign (by clicking on the Blue America congressional thermometer on the right). So... how about Antoinette's soon to be released healthcare platform. She' still working on it but it's pretty great already and will give you a good idea about who she is and what you will be able to expect from her if she's elected. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez on healthcare:
Congress needs to embrace the goal of providing quality, 100% accessible healthcare to all who call our country home. Too many people are suffering and dying needlessly because quality health care is not available to them. The pandemic has laid bare the inequities in our healthcare system, and it is immoral that we tolerate a system that has devastated poor people and people of color.
Healthcare is a human right, and I believe the implementation of universal health care is a first step in addressing racial and ethnic inequities systemic in our society.
The United States’ private, for-profit health system is failing to provide basic medical care and improve our population’s health, and it excludes anyone who can not afford to pay to simply survive. No one should be poor because they are sick, nor sick because they are poor.
I believe that our federal government should provide health coverage through a Medicare for All model that ensures all people have high quality health care. Medicare is an efficient system that has well-served our nation’s elderly for generations, and it’s common sense to build on a program that works. A Medicare for All system will increase efficiency and cut out administrative expenses in our health system, including administrative costs, CEO pay, insurer-sponsored lawsuits, and providers’ compliance overhead. A larger Medicare pool could also negotiate down the prices of prescription drugs and healthcare equipment, and tackle markups on basic goods and services.
I will fight for a Medicare for All system that provides medical services to everyone and that also ensures that all medical care workers, from janitors, to nurses to doctors are fairly compensated for their heroic work.
Medicare for All would also benefit the economy. Employees and families shouldn’t lose health coverage when they lose their job. The way it is now, all employers are struggling under the weight of ballooning insurance costs-- effectively a tax which drives up labor costs and drives down employment. We must reduce the economic insecurity, instability, and burden of our current system.
You want Medicare-for-All? Electing more members of Congress who also want it-- and are willing to fight for it-- is the only way we're going to get it. The first bill that turned into Medicare was introduced in 1905. It took 61 years-- a Democratic wave election that put progressives in charge of the party rather than conservatives-- and a lot of spilled blood before we got it... and the Medicare for All bills that have been written by Bernie and by Pramila complete the effort that was started in 1905. It's not going to happen by itself and it's not going to happen by electing Blue Dogs and New Dems and other corporate whores who oppose it.