ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Auditor Brian Colón announced his candidacy Thursday for the office of state attorney general.
The Democrat wants to follow in the footsteps of friend Hector Balderas, who is wrapping up his second term as New Mexico’s top prosecutor and consumer advocate. Balderas also served as state auditor before being elected attorney general and the two previously worked for the same law firm.
Colón, 51, is the first person to enter the race for the open seat that has been dominated by Democrats for the better part of a century. Republicans have held the office only three times in the state’s nearly 110-year history.
Colón sees the campaign as an opportunity to “take the next step,” saying his motivation is rooted in his experience growing up in New Mexico and his desire to serve his community. He recalled the struggle of being poor and as a teenager having to take on the role of caring for his mother and siblings when his father died at a young age.
He described himself as a fighter, saying he wants to protect New Mexico families and that public safety will be among his top priorities.
“We can’t have prosperous communities until we have safe communities. We are limiting our potential in New Mexico,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press. “We’ve enjoyed some great success but I’m convinced that success has still been limited. I want to make sure that New Mexico is known as a place where consumer protection is important and that public safety is No. 1.”
By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press