New Mexico's governor still on Biden's VP shortlist

Jens Gould
The Santa Fe New Mexican

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham remains on Joe Biden's shortlist as his campaign narrows its search for a running mate.

New Mexico's governor is one of six people being considered as Biden's vice presidential candidate as the search enters a second round of vetting, the Associated Press reported Friday, citing Democrats with knowledge of the process.

Biden has committed to choosing a woman as his running mate, and many on his reported shortlist are minorities.

Lujan Grisham is a Latina. The list also includes African Americans such as U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California, former national security adviser Susan Rice, U.S. Rep. Val Demings of Florida and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, AP reported.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts also is still in contention, the news agency said.

Asked about Friday's report, Lujan Grisham spokeswoman Nora Meyers Sackett said, "The governor has been in conversation with the campaign about how she can best support the campaign, boost turnout, and ensure a Democratic victory, and those conversations are ongoing."

Michelle Lujan Grisham

Over the past several months, Lujan Grisham has consistently appeared in lists published by national media outlets speculating about Biden's potential running mate.

She was on a June 5 list published by the Washington Post, which said the governor had advantages because "New Mexico was ahead of the game on the coronavirus, she's got experience running a statewide health system, she's proven an electoral winner, and she's shown a willingness to provoke."

The New Mexican reported in October that the governor's policy initiatives – including her proposal to eliminate college tuition and her unveiling of new fuel economy standards at a climate change event in New York – were earning her national attention and fueling vice presidential rumors.

In December, Lujan Grisham was selected as the vice chairwoman of the Democratic Governors Association, further boosting her national profile.

Lujan Grisham said in March that Biden's campaign had reached out to her "incredibly early" for her endorsement in the presidential primary.

When asked about the VP talk, the governor has called it "political speculation," saying she is committed to remaining governor of New Mexico.

"Being governor today in New Mexico is the job I want. It's a job I'm completely dedicated to," she said May 20. "Those are speculations I'm not paying any attention to in that regard."

The governor has said she is working to encourage people to go to the polls and support Biden. "I'm committed to make sure we have a President Biden, not just a Vice President Biden," she said in May.

Harris and Warren, who both ran for the Democratic presidential nomination, are widely seen as the top contenders for Biden's running mate, the AP reported.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden says he's confident the military will help him if Donald Trump doesn't accept the election results in November.