Former Vice President Joe Biden is endorsing the Democratic contender in New Mexico's gubernatorial race

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Former Vice President Joe Biden is endorsing the Democratic contender in New Mexico’s gubernatorial race.

Congresswoman and candidate for governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday announced Biden’s endorsement and said she is proud to protect the legacy of the administration of President Barack Obama.

In a statement, Biden says Lujan Grisham “has been on the front lines of making health care accessible and affordable.”

The third-term congresswoman is competing in the governor race against Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce. GOP Gov. Susana Martinez cannot run for a third consecutive term.

Lujan Grisham previously led health-related state agencies under three New Mexico governors. Lujan Grisham says she also helped ensure health care access to vulnerable residents through a small business before divesting last year.