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New Mexicans loom large in speculation over next DOI secretary

The shortlist of potential nominees to lead the Interior Department is heavily focused on the New Mexico congressional delegation, setting up a potential battle between a senator whose father once led the agency and a House lawmaker who would be the first ever Native American in the Cabinet post.

Rep. Deb Haaland, Sen. Martin Heinrich and outgoing Sen. Tom Udall — all New Mexico Democrats — have been floated as potential nominees, along with Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.). Haaland was one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress when she won her seat in 2018, and Udall’s father was Interior secretary during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.

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