Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Rancher Lucero enters race for U.S. House

Jemez Pueblo rancher Michael Lucero, whose family has fought with federal land-use agencies for more than a year over the fencing off of a creek where his cattle graze, is running for Congress. If he wins the Republican primary, Lucero likely would face Democratic incumbent Ben Ray Luján for the 3rd Congressional District seat. Luján is serving his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Lucero, 39, is the only Republican so far to formally announce plans to seek election as the representative for most of the northern half of New Mexico. Running in that district is a challenge for any Republican. According to the Secretary of State Office’s website, as of Nov. 30, 51 percent of registered voters in the district are Democrats. Only 28 percent are Republicans. Lucero’s family owns an allotment in the the Santa Fe National Forest. The allotment originally was part of the San Diego Land Grant. Last year, Lucero became a spokesman for the San Diego Cattlemen’s Association after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse as an endangered species and the U.S. Forest Service started talking about protecting the mouse’s habitat by fencing off the Rio Cebolla, where Lucero grazes cattle twice a year...more

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