Ex-US Attorney in New Mexico plans to enter House race

Damon Martinez, Harvey Pratt
U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez, left, and Indian Arts and Crafts Board chairman Harvey Pratt take questions about a long federal investigation into the selling of fake American Indian jewelry during a news conference in Albuquerque, N.M. on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. Federal authorities announced Thursday that three New Mexico residents have been indicted in a scam to sell Filipino-made jewelry as American Indian made. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – A former U.S. attorney who led the office during Justice Department reforms of Albuquerque police is expected to run for an open congressional seat in central New Mexico.

Damon Martinez, who was ordered to resign earlier this year by the Trump administration, plans to announce Monday that he is jumping into a crowded Democratic primary to succeed U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat who is running for New Mexico governor.

Under Martinez, federal prosecutors in Albuquerque targeted the state’s worst offenders and focused on heroin and opioid trafficking suspects amid New Mexico’s opioid crisis.

He is running against former state Democratic Party Chairwoman Debra Haaland, Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis, physicist Dennis Dinge, Edgewood Mayor Pro Tem John Abrams, attorney Damian Lara and former law professor Antoinette Sedillo Lopez.

No Republican has formally announced a bid for the seat.