We knew this would be a tough primary race with three strong candidates vying to represent Democrats in the general election. What we didn’t expect was that it would turn so negative and that Eric’s opponents would attack him so personally.
When my husband Eric and I decided that he was going to get into this congressional race, it was a big decision for our family. Our son Lucas is three years old and we both wanted to make sure we would be there for him. As a special education teacher, I know how important those early years are in a child’s life. We decided together that it was the right thing to do for our community.
We live in the house Eric grew up in Barelas. He has led the youth choir at his neighborhood church for the last 10 years and spent the last four years leading the state’s most prominent children and family advocacy organization. Almost every day, we drive by the place he went to Head Start, the public schools he attended and the place his single mother worked.
Growing up in a single-parent home shaped his values. As an Albuquerque city councilman, Eric led the fight against predatory lending, to increase the minimum wage for working families and for campaign finance reform. As a state senator he took on establishment conservative Democrats to try to pass early childhood funding, protect public education and eliminate tax breaks for the wealthy and big corporations.
We knew this would be a tough primary race with three strong candidates vying to represent Democrats in the general election. What we didn’t expect was that the primary would turn so negative and that Eric’s opponents would attack him so personally. As his wife and as a woman, I am so disappointed and disgusted that Michelle Lujan Grisham and some of her prominent supporters including Diane Denish have decided to attack his character and motivation for running.
Rather than focus on the issues…
Rather than focus on the issues, Michelle has used her staff, surrogates and her allies in the conservative media to bring up old issues related to traffic tickets, Eric’s work on children’s issues, and even his hard work taking on establishment politicians in the Senate.
During the televised debate last week, Michelle and Marty Chávez seemed to coordinate an attack on Eric’s work on behalf of kids and families – questioning his motivations. Instead of taking the high road, Michelle used the debate as an opportunity to question his character and commitment to kids and families.
Michelle has also criticized him for taking on these progressive fights in the Senate. Eric led fellow progressive Democrats in some of the toughest battles for working families. Sadly, because of establishment politicians and conservative Democrats, we could not pass legislation to provide adequate funding for early childhood, our schools were not adequately funded, and the wealthiest New Mexicans and out-of-state corporations were spared from paying their fair share.
The reason why almost every group representing working people – from the teachers to nurses to public employees – have endorsed Eric in this race is because they know his record and his character. They know he took on the tough fights many of his colleagues were not willing to take on, because of politics or fear of retribution from powerful establishment legislators.
The best person to fight for women and families
Michelle Lujan Grisham and her surrogates have suggested that only she can fight for women and families. I resent that as a woman. Eric has spent his career on the front lines of fighting for women and families as an advocate, an elected official and an active member of his community.
I hope other women and mothers will reject the attacks that Michelle Lujan Grisham and her conservative allies in the media and elsewhere have launched against Eric. I know him best. I have watched him as a loving father, dedicated husband and passionate fighter for kids who came from families like his. Those who know his heart know he is the best person to fight for women and families in Congress.
Kim Griego is Eric Griego’s wife, mother to Lucas their 3-year-old son, and has worked with and for young children with special needs and their families for 20 years. She currently works for the Albuquerque Public Schools in the Special Education Department.