Republican Mick Rich will make a second run for the U.S. Senate, nine months after he was defeated last year in his bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich.
Mick Rich 2020, a principal campaign committee was established Aug. 1 for the purpose of a U.S. Senate race, according to information from the Federal Election Commission.
A press release issued Friday by Rich’s campaign confirmed the 65-year-old commercial contractor from Albuquerque has entered the race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Udall.
Colson Franse, Rich’s campaign manager, though said Friday that no official announcement has yet been made about Rich’s entry into the race.
“New Mexico’s all-Democratic congressional delegation is not serving our state well,” Rich is quoted saying in the release. “As the Democratic Party shifts radically left, New Mexico’s working families have been left without a voice. I will be their voice and their champion.”
Rich is the second Republican to join the 2020 race. Gavin Clarkson, a former Trump administration official, declared his candidacy in April. U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan and New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver will compete in the Democratic primary for the same Senate seat.
When he visited Roswell in May, Rich told the Roswell Daily Record that he was contemplating another bid for the U.S. Senate.
At the time, he said that if he was to run, he would be a better candidate in 2020 than he had in last year’s three-way race between himself, Heinrich and Libertarian candidate former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.
Rich said since his last campaign, he has become a better public speaker and gained higher name recognition.
In last year’s elections, Democrats in New Mexico won every statewide and congressional race on the ballot. However, he said that he thinks backlash against a legislative session that saw a litany of progressive legislation passed, along with issues such as crime and border security will help galvanize Republicans and win over independents.
“I see more Republicans coming out and getting excited about this next election and saying, ‘I have to get out and do something. I can’t stand by and watch our state go down the tubes,’” Rich said.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.