Progressive candidates win big in NM across the ballot, defeat GOP PAC $ at every level!

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Yesterday’s primary voting has wrapped up and we now have a clear vision of which candidates will be on the November ballots. Progressives gained at least two seats against less ideal incumbents and statewide turned out to support candidates in high numbers.

While there were quite a few races available to voters from the three major parties to vote in statewide, we’ll only be featuring those races with contested primaries.

For a complete look at every race from yesterday, click here:

Let’s get right down to it!


For the Democrats, Michelle Lujan Grisham won with 66% of the vote statewide. County to county, Lujan Grisham generally carried large majorities as high as 80% in some counties, and only failing to garner 50% in 6 counties total. She only appears to have lost in one county, Guadalupe, and only by 3 votes to Jeff Apodaca.


Her opponents shared the remaining votes with Jeff Apodaca getting 22% and Joe Cervantes getting 11%. Those numbers are nearly exactly the same as the Democratic Pre-Primary convention held by Democrats in March.

With some pretty intense negative campaigning in the leadup to the primaries, there will be some real work to be done on reconciliation both from voters within the party and the candidates alike, however, in sheer numbers, Lujan Grisham received over 116,000 votes herself, to Rep. Steve Pearce’s 75,000. Likely general election voters will push his numbers higher in November, but the same is likely true for the Democrats.

At the time of publication, it is unclear if the Libertarian candidate Bob Walsh received enough write-in votes to advance to being listed on the November ballot, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

Lieutenant Governor

What started off as a crowded five-way race at the beginning of the year was narrowed down to just three candidates for the last few months.

Howie Morales finished on top with 47% of the vote from Democrats, finishing well in nearly every county statewide. Rick Miera finished with nearly 32% and Billy Garrett garnered 21%. Those numbers hold pretty strong from the pre-primary numbers with the exception of Garrett, who appears to have absorbed a few voters from both of his opponents, as well as picking up those who backed Jeff Carr in March before he dropped out of the race.

Again, because the Libertarian candidate was a write-in race, we don’t know if Robin Dunn’s name will appear on the November ballot yet alongside Walsh for the Libertarians, but Michelle Garcia Holmes will be joining Pearce to round out the GOP ticket.

State Auditor

Brian Colón netted 63% of the vote to beat out Rep. Bill McCamely for the position of State Auditor statewide. It’s a rather surreal moment of politics to think that Colón ran against  Mayor of Albuquerque Tim Keller last year for that position and now will be running for the seat Keller gave up against Republican Wayne Johnson, who was appointed to the Auditor’s job by Gov. Martinez after he ALSO was running for Albuquerque’s mayor.

Still with us? #NMpol #NMtrue.

Commissioner of Public Lands

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richards emerged victorious in the three-way race for the Commissioner of Public Lands job after that race took some extremely wild turns in the last few weeks as distant third-place candidate Sen. George Munoz received thousands of dollars of support from a GOP PAC controlled by Gov. Martinez’ own Jay McCleskey funneling money from PNM.

Garcia Richards wound up with 39.5% of the vote to conservationist Garrett VeneKlasen’s 37.2% in what was easily the closest race of the whole campaign, coming down to less than 4,000 votes at the time of publication.

Garcia Richards will face former Land Commissioner Pat Lyons from the GOP and Michael Lucero from the Libertarians on November’s ballot.


In District 1, Debra Haaland won in a crowded race with over 40% of voters supporting her over the next five candidates. She’ll go up against Janice Arnold-Jones from the GOP and Lloyd Princeton from the Libertarians in November. Worth noting is that over 25,000 people voted for Haaland in a very crowded primary while Arnold-Jones and Princeton didn’t even break 20,000 votes between them.

In District 2, Xochitl Torres Small handly defeated Madeline Hildebrandt with nearly 73% of voters backing her. Torress Small won every county in the district, including Hildebrant’s own Socorro county. Torres Small will be facing former State Representative Yvette Herrell, who won her own crowded primary race on the GOP side with 49% of Republicans backing her. District 2 numbers were MUCH closer overall with over 34,000 Dems coming out to vote and over 32,000 Republicans supporting their candidates.

Other notable  races:

Progressives won BIG races in House Districts 41 and 46 during yesterday’s primary elections. Debbie Rodella was ousted (after being the longest-serving member of the state house) by Susan Herrera who won decisively with 56% of the vote. And Rep. Carl Trujillo lost his bid for reelection as Andrea Romero took nearly 53% of the vote in HD46. Trujillo and Rodella were also recipients of PAC money from GOP funders in the last days of the campaign, but as we’ve seen over and over in the recent past, progressives know how to beat big GOP funders by getting out the vote.

Progressives also made big strides in the Public Regulation Commission races yesterday. Incumbent Sandy Jones, another beneficiary of GOP help despite being a registered D, appears to have been defeated by former State Senator and avowed progressive, Steve Fischmann. The SOS website notes that the closeness (less than a thousand votes) of that race may trigger a recount, but even that slim margin of votes is about 5%, which is a lot to overcome in a recount.