Bernalillo County Commissioner Michelle Lujan Grisham won a tight Democratic primary Tuesday in New Mexico's 1st District, narrowly edging state Sen. Eric Griego for the nomination.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Lujan Grisham led Griego 40 percent to 35 percent and had the race called by the Associated Press. Former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez trailed in third place with 25 percent.
Lujan Grisham began the campaign at the back of the pack, but she moved to the front over the last few months as Griego and Chavez, the initial front-runner, attacked each other while Lujan Grisham stockpiled cash. By the time Griego and allied progressive groups turned their attention to Lujan Grisham, it was too late; her momentum seems to have carried through to election day. If independent polling from the weeks before the primary held true, Lujan Grisham gained a solid footing among liberal voters and then beat Griego among moderates to seal the win, slipping into the ideological space between the staunchly progressive Griego and the moderate Chavez.
Lujan Grisham enters the general election to replace Democratic Rep. Martin Heinrich as a favorite over Republican former state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones, who was unopposed for the GOP nomination. President Obama about 60 percent of the district's presidential vote in 2008.
This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.