Former CIA agent Valerie Plame’s status as a shoo-in to win a congressional seat in northern New Mexico is now deeply imperiled amid charges she’s an outsider from Washington who knows too little about the district she seeks to represent.
Plame is running in the Democratic primary to replace Democrat Ben Ray Lujan, the highest-ranking Hispanic lawmaker in the House, in the state’s 3rd Congressional District, home to 15 Pueblo tribes and the Navajo and Jicarilla Apache nations, with a 41% Hispanic and 19% Native American population.
Lujan, who has held the seat since 2009, announced a run for Senate in April last year, drawing prominent Hispanic candidates into the primary.
Plame’s strategy of drawing attention to her background in foreign policy and boasting that she knows her way around Washington is flawed, said local officials and pollsters interviewed by the New York Times. Voters care about local issues and knowledge of the region, said Gabriel Sanchez, a Latino Decisions pollster and executive director of the University of New Mexico’s Center for Social Policy. More