Elisa Martinez, a Latina Republican and member of the Navajo Nation, is joining the race for an open U.S. Senate seat in New Mexico.
Martinez formally announced Wednesday she will seek the GOP nomination to take on likely Democratic nominee New Mexico Congressman Ben Ray Luján. Martinez is an anti-abortion activist who will face contractor Mick Rich and college professor Gavin Clarkson in the Republican primary.
Martinez says she’s an advocate for “traditional, New Mexican issues” and blasted what she called “liberal socialist Democrats” for seeking to reform health care.
Martinez grew up in Gallup, New Mexico.
Her father has deep Hispanic roots in the state going back 15 generations and her mother’s family is Zuni Pueblo and Navajo.
If elected, Martinez would become the first Native American woman to be seated in the U.S. Senate.