Rep. Martin Heinrich announced Saturday that he would run for New Mexico’s U.S. Senate seat, giving Democrats a top-tier recruit in what is expected to be a competitive open seat race.

Heinrich, who just began his second term in a competitive Albuquerque-based House district, joins former Rep. Heather Wilson and former congressional candidate Greg Sowards, who are running for the Republican nomination.

Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) announced in February that he would not seek reelection, opening the seat up to a Republican takeover. But with Heinrich in the race, Democrats think their chances of holding the seat are greatly enhanced.

“Over those weeks, I have discussed at length with my family how I might best continue to serve New Mexico,” Heinrich said in a message to supporters. “After much serious thought, I am excited to announce today that I will be a candidate for the United States Senate.”

Heinrich said he would soon embark on a statewide listening tour. He has already launched a campaign website.

Other potential candidates include state Auditor Hector Balderas (D) and Lt. Gov. John Sanchez (R).

A recent survey showed Heinrich polling as the top Democrat in a hypothetical primary.