SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Republican construction contractor Mick Rich of Albuquerque is the first challenger to seek the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Martin Heinrich. Rich said Tuesday he will seek the New Mexico GOP nomination for Senate in 2018 in his first bid for elected public office. Rich is emphasizing his support for commercial development of natural resources on federal lands as a way to boost the New Mexico economy. He is criticizing Heinrich's vote against the confirmation of Energy Secretary Rick Perry as a liability for New Mexico in efforts to ensure federal funding. Rich traces New Mexico's difficulties in addressing violent crime and drug overdoses to illegal drugs crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Democrats have held both of New Mexico's Senate seats since GOP Sen. Pete Domenici retired in 2009.