SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A former state senator from Albuquerque is trying for a political comeback as an independent candidate for the Legislature.
Former Republican Sen. Joseph Carraro filed Tuesday to run against Republican Sen. John Ryan of Albuquerque in the November general election.
Carraro said he switched from being a Republican in 2008 after losing the party’s nomination for the 1st Congressional District.
Ryan drew no Democratic opponent this year and would have been unopposed in the general election if Carraro hadn’t filed as a candidate.
Carraro served in the Senate in 1985 to 1988 and from 1993 to 2008.
Ryan is running in a reconfigured district that includes portions of Albuquerque’s west side and Rio Rancho, which had been in Carraro’s former district.
“The time is right for an independent to run and not represent a party but represent the point of view of the people,” Carraro said in an interview.
This is the first election since legislative district boundaries were redrawn to adjust them for population changes during the past decade.
Tuesday was the deadline for minor party and independent candidates to file for a place on the general election ballot.
The race for an open U.S. Senate seat expanded.
Jon Ross Barrie of Albuquerque filed as an Independent American Party. He’ll face well-funded, high-profile opponents in Democrat Martin Heinrich and Republican Heather Wilson, who won their party nominations in the June primary election.
Barrie, on his campaign web site, describes himself as a “constitutional conservative”
Heinrich is a two-term congressman from Albuquerque and Wilson served five-terms in Congress before stepping down to run unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination for the Senate in 2008. There’s no incumbent in the Senate race because Democrat Jeff Bingaman is retiring at the end of his term.