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Ex-Trump official says he will seek GOP nod for US Senate

April 16, 2019
FILE - In this April 26, 2018 photo, Gavin Clarkson, a Republican candidate for Congress at the time, speaks with the Associated Press during an interview in Albuquerque, N.M. Clarkson, a former Trump Administration official and former candidate for Congress, has announced he will run for an open U.S. Senate seat in New Mexico. Clarkson said Tuesday April 16, 2019, he will seek the Republican nomination in 2020 for Senate and will make immigration and "free speech on public campuses" his center issues. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras,File)

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Gavin Clarkson, a former Trump Administration official and former candidate for Congress, has announced he will run for an open U.S. Senate seat in New Mexico.

Clarkson said Tuesday he will seek the Republican nomination in 2020 for Senate and will make immigration and “free speech on public campuses” his center issues.

He made his announcement in an interview with the conservative-leaning blog, NM Politics with John Block . Clarkson is the first Republican to say he will run for the state’s open Senate spot.

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján — the No. 4 ranked Democrat in Congress — said earlier this month he would seek the Democratic nomination. Democratic Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver says she’s also considering running.