They are called a “First Nation” people, and now from their ranks will be the first-ever Native American woman to serve in Congress. Former state Democratic Party leader Debra Haaland won the Democratic primary in New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District Tuesday night. She ran a successful lead in Congress.
The Associated Press called the race for Haaland, who defeated a large field of candidates to secure the Democratic nomination. Haaland will now face former state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones (R) and Libertarian candidate Lloyd Princeton in November.
Currently, there are two Native American members of Congress, but they are both men. Haaland is a member of the Pueblo of Laguna tribe.
“In 230 years, there’s never been a Native American woman in Congress. I have never seen myself in that body of our government,” Haaland said in an interview with ABC News just before the primary.
She had previously volunteered on former President Obama’s 2008 campaign. Then Haaland became the chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. Haaland also ran for lieutenant governor in 2014, but lost the race.
The district Haaland is running in encompasses Albuquerque and is solidly blue. It is rated D+7 by the Cook Partisan Voter Index, so Haaland is all but certain to win in November when she takes on the lone GOP candidate in the race, Janice Arnold-Jones.
More than 10,000 people have served in the House and nearly 1,300 have served in the Senate since the first Congress met in 1789. Not a single one was a Native American woman.