Barela, a former APS Board member, and GOP Party official, is the first candidate to announce he'll try to oust first-term Representative Martin Heinrich, who easily captured the seat in 2008.
Fellow Repbulican, State Representative Janice Arnold-Jones, had been considering the race, but is now leaning toward a 2010 gubernatorial bid.
UPDATED @ 5pm
At the announcement, Barlea said he's running for Congress because government spending is out of control.
The money to fund that blank check in Washington is coming out of the paychecks of New Mexico workers and costing us jobs right here at home Unchecked spending in Congress needs to stop.Barela acknowledged that this will be a tough race, but believes his deep roots in the community will allow him to earn the crossover votes necessary to win this district. Underscoring that point, Barela was introduced at his announcement by a current Democratic ward chairman from the South Valley and former State Representative Robert Aragon. Aragon is also a current member of the Executive Committee of the Democratic Party of New Mexico.
In a campaign news release Aragon commented:
I’m a lifelong Democrat, but I’m a New Mexican first. I’m enthusiastically supporting Jon Barela, because I know he’s one of us and he’ll always put New Mexico first. And that’s more important than partisan politics.
Barela File Photo: Mark Bralley