Rael became the fifth Democrat to enter next June's primary when party members will decide who should take on incumbent Republican Susana Martinez in the 2014 general election.
Rael, 55, resigned in October as executive director of the federal Farm Service Agency in New Mexico. Previously he served as the executive director for the Mid-Region Council of Governments for eight years -- a job in which he helped start the Railrunner railroad line between Santa Fe and Belen. He also worked 12 years as chief administrative officer for the city of Albuquerque.
"I get things done," Rael said today.
In 2010 he finished second in a field of five in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, placing behind former state party chairman Brian Colon. "I barely lost that race," Rael said. "People remember that campaign. I have people from all around the state who are supportive."
As he has been with several other Democratic challengers, Gov. Susana Martinez's political spokesman was quick to have a statement about Rael.
"Gov. Martinez has worked in a bipartisan manner to pass meaningful reform legislation. ..." said Danny Diaz. "We are confident New Mexicans would rather have a results-oriented former prosecutor serving as their governor than a lobbyist and partisan like Lawrence Rael who would take the state backward.”
Other Democratic candidates for governor include Attorney General Gary King; state senators Linda Lopez of Albuquerque and Howie Morales of Silver City; and Santa Fe author and consultant Alan Webber.