During a virtual news conference in December, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham indicated she would seek reelection in 2022.
On Thursday, Lujan Grisham is expected to make it official.
Though not exactly a big surprise, the big announcement may have leaked sooner than anticipated.
Wednesday morning, Lujan Grisham’s campaign spokeswoman, not the Governor’s Office, issued a news release stating the governor would be joined by her supporters and volunteers Thursday at the Albuquerque Museum to make an announcement at what has been dubbed a “special event.”
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The news release didn’t specify what Lujan Grisham would be announcing, and her campaign spokeswoman didn’t return messages seeking comment, leaving the reveal to some speculation.
But Lt. Gov. Howie Morales, who was listed in the news release as one of the guests, told The New Mexican Lujan Grisham plans to announce her reelection campaign.
“I don’t know if … they don’t want any information to get out at this point, but it’s basically campaign season, starting off the campaign and going forward,” Morales said. “From the understanding that I got, that’s going to be the announcement that will be made, but she’s already made it clear that she’s running for reelection in her press conferences.”
Tripp Stelnicki, the governor’s chief spokesman, referred inquiries to her campaign.
“It’s a campaign announcement and event and we don’t engage in campaign activities as state workers,” he wrote in an email. “It’s effectively church and state.”
Denise Crouse, a spokeswoman for the Albuquerque Museum, did not return messages seeking comment.
Morales noted the “kickoff to campaign season” comes on the heels of the end of another campaign Tuesday when state Rep. Melanie Stansbury, D-Albuquerque, won the special election for the 1st Congressional District.
Asked whether Lujan Grisham was trying to capitalize on the momentum from Stansbury’s sweeping victory, Morales said not necessarily.
“There definitely was a lot of momentum that was created,” he said. “I think the strong showing and support of now-Congresswoman Stansbury gives a lot of momentum going into it, but regardless, when [Lujan Grisham] launched her campaign when she initially ran for governor, I think she did that like in May, so the timing is right around where it has been in the past and where it typically is for statewide candidates.”
Morales said he’s going to run for reelection, too.
The governor and lieutenant governor run independently.
“We are a good team,” he said. “We have worked well together, especially during the most challenging times that our state has experienced with COVID, so I do feel confident as we go forward that we’ll remain a strong ticket.”