Las Cruces native Rick Montoya announces run for US Senate

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A Las Cruces businessman has entered the contest for U.S. Senate in New Mexico, adding to a list of Republicans looking for a nomination.

Rick Montoya, 72, announced his candidacy at Roberto's Mexican Restaurant in Las Cruces, Las Cruces Sun News reported Thursday.

Montoya is the sixth Republican who announced their run for the at-large seat ahead of the June primary election.

The seat was held by Democratic Sen. Tom Udall who announced in March that he would not seek a third term, officials said.

Montoya entered the contest after seeing U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján take credit for winning a Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, leading to President Donald Trump's impeachment, he said.

Impeachment has done nothing for the state, Montoya said.

Montoya told a crowd of supporters that his campaign strategy relies on counties in southern New Mexico including Dona Ana, Otero, Lincoln, Chaves, Eddy and Lea.

The key to success is not speaking “ill of any fellow Republican," he said.

Two Democrats are running for the seat including Luján and former Espanola‘s finance director Andrew Perkins.