Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham speaks during an Aug. 13 COVID-19 news briefing at the Capitol. Lujan Grisham is expected to announce her reelection bid on Thursday.

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.”

Is she cutting the ribbon on a new dinosaur exhibit?

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.”

Follow Daniel J. Chacón on Twitter @danieljchacon.

(6) comments

John Cook

Maybe New Mexican voters will care about hair expense and beef and jewelry. But if I were predicting, I'd say steering between the shoals of too much lockdown and not enough lockdown to save lives will stand her in good stead come election time.

Richard Reinders

So? she will not be a contender from booze to Wagyu beef, conflict of interest hair do's and grabbing crouch, if she isn't already done NM deserves her.

Lee DiFiore

Suggestion for mlg campaign slogan: "NM, 1st in crime and lockdowns, last in education and child well being. A vote for me insures these rich traditions will continue".

Amy Christiansen

No more democrats!!!

Red Eagle

Well looks like it is time to remind voters of Wagyu beef, $400 hair and makeup, the exorbitant new fence built to protect the governor’s mansion (put there by a Governor who doesn’t believe in fences/walls at the border to protect the people of NM), her darn near destruction of the economy of the state.....more to come!

Ava Michaels

Well, this explains Tuesday's announcement about the lottery for vaccinated New Mexicans.

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