SANTA FE (AP)- Louie Sanchez, a health care businessman and a shooting range owner, is jumping in the race for an open U.S. Senate seat in New Mexico.
Sanchez announced Monday he will seek the Republican nomination for a spot currently held by retiring Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Udall.
Sanchez said he is running because others have refused to “take action” to tighten immigration and drug trafficking along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“The politicians in Washington make the same empty promises when it’s election time in New Mexico and break them as soon as they get back to DC,” Sanchez said in a statement. “We need new leaders if we want new results.
According to his bio, Sanchez grew up poor in Albuquerque’s South Valley and worked his way through high school as a maintenance man and put himself through college washing dishes.
Sanchez currently works in the healthcare field as a territory manager for a medical device company and is an owner of Calibers, a firearms store and shooting range.
He will face anti-abortion activist Elisa Martinez, contractor Mick Rich and college professor Gavin Clarkson in the Republican primary.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján is running for the seat in the Democratic primary. Andrew Perkins, an accountant who once served as the city of Española finance director, also is seeking the Democratic nomination.