New Mexico state Sen. Mark Moores will be the Republican nominee in New Mexico’s upcoming special congressional election, securing the party’s endorsement at a Saturday convention. The election will be held June 1.

“This is a perfect time to explain how our values and what we are doing for New Mexicans and the nation are very important,” Moores said after prevailing at a Zoom meeting of 121 local GOP activists. “This is the right time for this campaign.”

New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District, which covers Albuquerque and its suburbs, was held until this month by Democrat Deb Haaland, who resigned to become the first Native American interior secretary. GOP losses in those suburbs have shored up the seat for Democrats, and Joe Biden carried the district by 23 points last year in the presidential election.

Democrats, who will pick their nominee for the seat on March 30 at a similar convention, are confident about holding the seat, while wary of surprises. Republicans initially struggled to find a nominee, with the party’s 2020 nominee in the district and its nominee for U.S. Senate last year both opting not to run. Moores entered the race just 13 days before the vote and won with 49 votes to 34 votes for conservative radio host Eddy Aragon, one of the first candidates to climb into the race.

“I’ll win the open primary in 2022,” Aragon said in a text message. “I have a lot of support. I was the insurgent. He was the insider. There was no discipline in the process.”

The Democratic contenders for the seat include state Sen. Antoinette Sedillo López, who lost a 2018 primary to Haaland, and state Rep. Georgene Louis, who if elected would be the first Native American woman to replace another Native American woman in Congress.