WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former CIA operative Valerie Plame failed in her bid for a seat in the U.S. Congress Wednesday, losing the Democratic nomination in New Mexico's 3rd District to an attorney with deep roots in the state, Teresa Leger Fernandez.
Plame had raised over $2 million, more than anyone on the ballot for the House of Representatives seat in the solidly Democratic district, and she had released a flashy campaign video of her speeding across the desert in a sports car.
But she couldn't shake criticism that she was an outsider compared to Leger Fernandez, who has served as counsel to several Native American tribes in the northern New Mexico district and had the backing of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
"I'm sorry last night didn't turn out the way we hoped," Plame wrote on Twitter.
Plame moved to Santa Fe over a decade ago after her cover as a spy was blown by officials in then-President George W. Bush's administration.
According to preliminary results from the New Mexico Secretary of State's office, Leger Fernandez took 41% of the vote, while Plame had 24.5%. State Representative Joseph Sanchez was third with 13%.
The seat is open because the current congressman, Democrat Ben Ray Lujan, is running for the Senate.
(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Leslie Adler)