ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Republican State Central Committee members for congressional district 1 announced their nomination for the special election to elect a replacement for Deb Haaland. She left her representative position when she was picked for the Secretary of the Interior earlier this year.

They selected State Senator Mark Moores (R- Albuquerque) Saturday out of seven candidates for the seat in the House of Representatives. The decision was made during a virtual meeting.

Moores has represented northeast Albuquerque in the New Mexico Senate since 2013 and is a former UNM football player. On Saturday, he touched on a difficult year of COVID for New Mexicans and believes the state can reopen safely. “COVID was so hard for many New Mexicans and we are going to fight to safely reopen our schools and we are going to fight to safely reopen our businesses and get our economy back and running,” said Moores.

New Mexico Democrats are hosting a forum with their candidates on Sunday and expect to make their selection Tuesday. New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver has set June 1 as the date of the special election. The seat has not been held by a Republican in more than a decade.