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Nella Domenici, daughter of former senator, unveils bid for Senate seat in New Mexico

Nella Domenici, the daughter of the late New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici (R), is launching a Republican bid for U.S. Senate.

“After a period of diligent research and evaluation, it is clear that the political environment in New Mexico is favorable to Republicans. Over 70% of voters believe the country is on the wrong track,” Domenici said in a statement announcing her campaign Wednesday.

“There is massive dissatisfaction with the economy, our border, and the misguided policies from Washington that have made life more difficult for New Mexico families. I’m in this fight to win,” Domenici said.

Domenici’s father was the last Republican to hold a Senate seat in New Mexico, serving in the upper chamber for more than 30 years. Now, Domenici has jumped into the primary with hopes of flipping the seat back into GOP control as incumbent Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) runs for reelection.

In her campaign launch statement, the former Bridgewater chief financial officer called out “our leaders in Washington and Santa Fe” for the high cost of living, issues with public education and the “wide open” border.

“Like my father and mother, I have been a warrior for those who most need an advocate: for women competing in academics or business, for families dealing with mental illness, and for those without access to quality healthcare or education,” Domenici said in a statement.

Former Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales, an ex-Democrat, is also among those running in the GOP primary — but Domenici boasts the backing of the GOP’s Senate campaign arm.

“I’m pleased Nella Domenici is running for Senate in New Mexico. Nella’s experience at the highest levels of business, commitment to securing our border, and passion for improving education make her a strong candidate to flip this seat,” said National Republican Senate Committee Chair Steve Daines in a statement.

The Democratic Party of New Mexico’s chair, Jessica Velasquez, said Domenici’s candidacy adds to a “brutal” Republican primary in the state.

“If Nella Domenici survives the dogfight, her close ties to Wall Street and her work for a mega-hedge fund that laid off American workers while investing in China will all face extensive scrutiny as Republicans’ primary intensifies. Democrats have won every Senate race in New Mexico since 2006, and we are confident Senator Heinrich will be reelected,” Velasquez said.

Domenici’s father, the late senator, is also the father of Adam Laxalt, who ran for Senate in Nevada during the 2022 midterms. It was revealed in 2013 that Pete Domenici fathered Laxalt through an extramarital affair with fellow Sen. Paul Laxalt’s (R-Nev.) daughter, Michelle, decades earlier.

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