ALBUQUERQUE — A raucous group of protesters yelling and screaming into bullhorns outside the Albuquerque Museum’s outdoor amphitheater disrupted Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s formal announcement Thursday that she’s running for a second term in 2022, forcing the governor to cut her speech short and the event to end early.

Lujan Grisham, who took the stage to chants of “MLG!” from her supporters, immediately made light of the situation.

“I know it’s going to be loud, and I just have to say I’m sorry that we picked the same location that the QAnon lizard people meeting was at,” she said, laughing.

“In spite of that,” she said, referring to the boisterous crowd of protesters, “I’m running for reelection for another four years. … We’re going to do what we do best. We’re going to protect New Mexico and no amount of noise will deter, intimidate or create a vacuum in leadership that makes a difference for every single New Mexican this day and every day. Can’t be done. Can’t be done.”

The event drew a who’s who of New Mexico Democrats, including U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez, Congresswoman-elect Melanie Stansbury, House Speaker Brian Egolf, Senate President Pro Tem Mimi Stewart, Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth and state Auditor Brian Colón.

“I think she can make a very strong case that she has led in the most difficult time in our 109-year-old history,” Colón said. “She’s got a track record of success, and she’s celebrated coast-to-coast as having been a leader when it came to addressing the issues that were presented in New Mexico because of the pandemic.”

Colón said the governor also has “already started turning the corner” on economic development, job creation and how New Mexico will move forward after the pandemic.

“For me, her leadership has been clear, and we hope to have that continuing in New Mexico the next 5 1/2 years,” he said.

Before the governor took the stage, Jessica Velasquez, chairwoman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, told the crowd of supporters that Democrats were off to a good start with Stansbury’s “landslide victory” Tuesday in the special congressional election.

“This is just the beginning,” Velasquez said. “We know that with determination and hard work, we can and will continue to elect Democratic leaders up and down the ballot in every corner of New Mexico, and that begins with our powerhouse candidate at the top of the ticket in 2022: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.”

Stansbury, Leger Fernandez and other high-profile Democrats also took the stage, but they, too, were drowned out by the noise on the other side of the wall.


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