Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the Democratic candidate in New Mexico’s tight race for governor, has made a $285 million commitment to funding universal preschool a hallmark of her campaign. The plan has attracted the support of early education advocates, who point to the magnitude of the investment and the fact that the Republican candidate in the race, Rep. Steve Pearce, has rejected funding increases for early education in favor of improving the state’s K-12 system.
“We’re anxious to start touting the track record she has in early childhood education and her statements that she wants to increase access to preschool,” said Kris Perry, president of Save the Children Action Network, an early childhood advocacy group. This week, SCAN is launching a $400,000 campaign backing Grisham that includes a television ad, digital outreach and mailers. (The group is rolling out a similar six-figure campaign in Rhode Island, supporting Democratic incumbent Gov. Gina Raimondo.)