Nella Domenici, daughter of late US senator from New Mexico, launches her own bid for a seat

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Nella Domenici, a daughter of longtime U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, said Wednesday that she will compete for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic incumbent Sen. Martin Heinrich as he seeks a third term.

Domenici, who has registered with the Federal Election Commission to raise campaign funds, confirmed her candidacy in a statement highlighting concerns about inflation, crime, border enforcement and childhood well-being.

On a campaign website, she touted her early upbringing in Albuquerque, her achievements at Georgetown University and Harvard Business School and her rise through the corporate ranks to recent roles including chief financial officer of hedge fund giant Bridgewater Associates.

Former Bernalillo County sheriff Manny Gonzales is also seeking the Republican nomination.

The campaign arm of the Senate GOP had encouraging words for Domenici, saying in a statement that she is a “strong candidate to flip this seat.”

The Domenici name still resonates in New Mexico after the 2017 death of Pete Domenici, who served six terms before retiring in 2008. However Democrats currently hold every statewide elected office in New Mexico, where voters haven’t backed a Republican for president since 2004.

Nationwide, Democrats are defending 23 Senate seats this year as they hope to hold on to a majority that currently stands at 51-49.

Another child of Pete Domenici, son Adam Laxalt, has also gone into politics, serving as state attorney general in Nevada before running unsuccessfully for governor there in 2018.