ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Former New Mexico Lt. Gov. Diane Denish is supporting Debra Haaland for an open U.S. congressional seat in central New Mexico.

Denish announced her support Monday as Haaland tries to become the first Native American woman elected to Congress.

Haaland, a member of Laguna Pueblo, is seeking to succeed U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, an Albuquerque Democrat who is stepping down to run for New Mexico governor. Haaland is facing seven others in a Democratic primary for a seat that includes Albuquerque.

Former U.S. Sen. Fred Harris of Oklahoma, who now lives in Corrales, New Mexico, and is the last surviving member of the Kerner Commission, also has endorsed Haaland.