SANTA FE — For Republican candidates in New Mexico’s bluest congressional district, it isn’t easy being red.
Jefferson Byrd, a rancher from Tucumcari, is trying to become just the second Republican elected in the 3rd Congressional District that covers the northern half and large swaths of eastern New Mexico, a sprawling area that includes the liberal sanctuary of Santa Fe.
A poll released earlier this week by the Albuquerque Journal showed incumbent Ben Ray Luján leading Byrd, 57 percent to 31 percent.
Byrd says he’s seen polls indicating the race is closer than that, “but we’re not ahead,” he conceded this week while talking to Capitol Report New Mexico. “We’ve got a lot of work to do and we just have to keep working.”