This story is a staff report from The Paper.

Chris Manning, Libertarian candidate for CD1


There are 4,876 registered members of the Libertarian Party in New Mexico’s first congressional district. None of them, apparently, want to run for Congress.

During a convention on Saturday, New Mexico’s Libertarian Party nominated Chris Manning of Kirtland (San Juan County) to carry the party’s banner in the special election to fill the first district congressional seat vacated by Deb Haaland’s assent to a cabinet position. The first district includes most of Bernalillo and Torrance Counties and parts of Sandoval and Valencia Counties in central New Mexico.

This will not be Manning’s first run for Congress. In 2018, he received 5 percent of the vote when he ran for Congress against Ben Ray Lujan and Jerald McFall in the third district covering northern New Mexico.

Though it is rare for a candidate not to live in the district they represent, the US Constitution only requires that members of Congress live in the state they represent, not their districts.

Manning will appear on the ballot against Republican Mark Moores and a Democratic candidate picked by that party’s state central committee this week. The Democrat is highly favored in a district where Democrats outnumber Republicans 47%-28% (24% of voters do not affiliate with a party). The special election is scheduled for June 1.