SANTA FE – Former Democratic House Majority Leader Rick Miera said Monday he is considering running for a crucial Senate seat currently held by retiring Democratic Sen. John Sapien.
Miera told The Associated Press that he is weighing whether to seek the Democratic nomination for the swing seat that is expected to draw strong interests from Republicans.
“We need to keep that seat,” said Miera, who served in the House from 1991 to 2015. “I retired five years ago, but I’ll consider running if it means Democrats keep that district.”
Sapien announced Sunday he would not seek re-election to the House seat.
The district includes the affluent liberal areas of Placitas and Corrales, part of conservative Rio Rancho and Bernalillo – one of the poorest cities in the state.
Republicans have long targeted Sapien to flip the seat because the district is almost evenly divided among Democrats and Republicans. Sapien won his last two races by about 1,000 votes. With Sapien out, the 9th District almost certainly will be the focus of both parties this year amid looming battles over abortion, recreational marijuana and energy.
Sapien said he believed Democrats could keep the seat before redistricting. But he said the nominee would need to be a moderate Democrat.
In the House, Miera served as one of the chamber’s longest serving chairman of the Education Committee. He was involved in laws related to massive education reforms under then-Gov. Bill Richardson and pushed measures to help Hispanic students.
Miera ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2018.