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New Mexico governor says she’s being vetted for VP slot by Biden campaign

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has told friends that Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign has begun vetting her as a possible vice-presidential candidate according to multiple media reports.

Grisham is serving her first term as governor and previously represented New Mexico in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2013 to 2018. In Congress, she was the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Prior to her political career, Lujan Grisham worked as an attorney for the Lawyer Referral for the Elderly Program of the State Bar of New Mexico. She also co-founded a small business called the Delta Consulting Group, which helped to provide health insurance for those who had been denied coverage.

The Biden campaign has long been pressed to increase its outreach among Latino voters who many Democratic strategists believe are a key demographic in the upcoming election, particularly in swing states.

Domingo Garcia, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens told Politico that he’s concerned that Biden still doesn’t have strong Latino advisers that are his peers.

“The Latinos [in the campaign], they’re like on the little kids’ table. They’re not at the grown-ups table,” Garcia said.

Grisham has received considerable pushback for the handling of her state’s coronavirus response. The New Mexico Business Coalition recently released a poll showing more than 80% of respondents were dissatisfied with the governor’s leadership during the pandemic.

On Tuesday she defended her response to the coronavirus pandemic form business leaders and Republican lawmakers who want her to remove enforced business restrictions. She said that demands for an immediate, full-scale reopening of the economy are “reckless” and ignore effective health precautions that will only serve to inflame misinformed public opinion and risk further illness and likely death.

Biden has already publicly stated that his running-mate will be a female. Another possible Latina choice would be Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto who is rumored to be a favorite of former senate majority leader, Harry Reid.

Many believe that despite the push for a Latino on the ticket, Biden will look to a more widely known running mate. Possible contenders include Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Duckworth, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand. Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is also rumored to be under consideration.

The vetting is being done by a four-member search committee including Biden’s longtime friend and Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd; the congresswoman from his home-state of Delaware, Lisa Blunt Rochester; Los Angeles Mayor and campaign co-chair Eric Garcetti; and former White House and Senate counsel Cynthia Hogan.

Biden is likely to make his final decision in July.

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