ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A Republican immigration lawyer is jumping into the race for an open congressional seat in central New Mexico.

Michael Hendricks is launching a campaign this week for the GOP nomination in the 1st Congressional District, the Albuquerque Journal reports (

He is the second Republican candidate to enter a race for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat who is running for New Mexico governor.

Former Albuquerque city councilor and state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones recently filed papers with the Federal Election Commission to run for the seat as a Republican. Arnold-Jones lost to Lujan Grisham for the same seat in 2012.

The GOP has not won the seat since 2008.

“In my candidacy, I see bringing back morality to the U.S. Congress and working to stem the tide of overspending in Washington,” Hendricks said in a written statement.

He speaks Spanish and serves as the consulting attorney for the Mexican Consulate in New Mexico, his campaign said.

Damon Martinez, a former U.S. attorney who led the office during Justice Department reforms of Albuquerque police and who was ordered to resign earlier this year by the Trump administration, announced Monday that he is running for the seat as a Democrat.

He is running for the Democratic nomination against former state party Chairwoman Debra Haaland, Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis, physicist Dennis Dinge, Edgewood Mayor Pro Tem John Abrams, attorney Damian Lara and former law professor Antoinette Sedillo Lopez.

State Rep. Monica Youngblood, a rising Latina Republican state lawmaker, told The Associated Press that she didn’t consider it a “viable option” for her to join the race. Her announcement comes as some Republicans have urged her to run.