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Republican businessman to run for US Senate in New Mexico

August 13, 2019
FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2018 file photo, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Mick Rich speaks at a New Mexico GOP rally in Albuquerque, N.M. before losing to Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich. Rich filed papers on Aug. 1, 2019 to a second run for the U.S. Senate in New Mexico. Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico is retiring. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras,File)
FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2018 file photo, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Mick Rich speaks at a New Mexico GOP rally in Albuquerque, N.M. before losing to Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich. Rich filed papers on Aug. 1, 2019 to a second run for the U.S. Senate in New Mexico. Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico is retiring. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras,File)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Republican construction contractor Mick Rich is making a second run for the U.S. Senate in New Mexico.

The Mick Rich 2020 campaign committee filed paperwork August 1 with the Federal Election Commission, opening the door for the Albuquerque resident to seek the GOP nomination.

Rich, who lost to Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich last year, confirmed late Monday that he will run for an open Senate seat in 2020, though he has not made an official announcement.

Democratic Sen. Tom Udall is retiring.

Rich, 65, will face former Trump administration official Gavin Clarkson in the Republican primary. Rich said he’s “not concerned” about Clarkson. “My focus is on the Democrats in the general election,” Rich said. “People are concerned about crime and jobs in this state.”

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan and Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver are competing in the Democratic primary.

Lujan is seeking to become the state’s first Hispanic U.S. senator since 1977. Toulouse Oliver is seeking to become the state’s first woman in the Senate.

Rich said he feels he has a better chance in 2020 that last year, when Libertarian and former Gov. Gary Johnson also ran.

“Him being in the race really hurt us with fundraising,” Rich said.

Rich said he also will have no problem showing differences with Republican President Donald Trump on certain issues. For example, Rich said he’s disappointed by the rise of the federal deficit under Trump and would work to get federal spending under control.

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