A record number of Native American candidates are running for Congress this year. While almost two dozen men of indigenous origin have held seats in Congress, there has never been a female Native American elected to the House or Senate.
There is a good chance that will change this November. Deb Haaland of New Mexico is running for a House seat in that state. Political observers say her chances of prevailing are strong. She first must win the New Mexico June primary where she will face off with five contenders for the Democratic nomination.
If she is chosen by her party to run for New Mexico’s 1st District seat, Haaland will go into the race with a lot of advantages. First, all Democratic candidates across the nation are riding what appears to be a “Blue Wave” – a strong expectation that Democrats will trounce Republicans across the country because of the controversial presidency of Donald Trump.
Historically, the opposition party always does well in midterm elections, but this year the advantage for Democrats seems especially strong. The “Me Too” movement is also bolstering female candidates.
Haaland is a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe located west of Albuquerque. Both her parents served in the military. That meant she attended 13 different public schools as her family relocated around the country following her parents’ military assignments.
Haaland earned a law degree from the University of New Mexico Law School. She served as Native American Caucus Chair for the Democratic Party of New Mexico from 2012 to 2013.