ALBUQUERQUE – 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 is scheduled Wednesday to formally announce that she will seek the GOP nomination to take on likely Democratic nominee U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján.
The anti-abortion activist will face contractor Mick Rich and college professor Gavin Clarkson in the Republican primary.
Her campaign said Martinez has been an advocate for “traditional, New Mexican issues” that reaches across party lines.
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 elected in the U.S. Senate.