The following is an excerpt from CHEYENNE HASLETT | July 5, 2018 | abcnews.go.com |
Deb Haaland — a Native American woman running for Congress in New Mexico — has never seen anyone who looks like her in elected government.
But if she wins in the 1st Congressional District Democratic primary election Tuesday, she might be able to change that, for herself and for Native American women across the country.
“In 230 years, there’s never been a Native American woman in Congress. I have never seen myself in that body of our government,” Haaland said in an interview with ABC News. There are currently two Native American representatives in the House — both men from Oklahoma.
Unfortunately, that lived experience can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy for some. “Ten years ago, when I was out in Indian country knocking on doors and driving folks to the polls, I never thought I would run for Congress,” Haaland acknowledged. But eventually, a desire to serve her community lead her to politics.
Haaland is running for the seat left open by Democratic Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is now running for governor.
Before deciding to run for the House of Representatives, Haaland volunteered in former President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. She then became the chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico and helped flip the state House back to blue. In 2014, she ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor.
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