New Mexico’s primary voters will go to the polls Tuesday to pick nominees in the governor’s race and the state’s three House districts.
In a state that’s increasingly trended Democratic but has had a Republican governor for the past two terms, Democrats are hoping a blue wave can sweep the governor’s mansion as well as the only Republican-held House district in the state. Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich is also up for reelection this year but is running unopposed — as is his Republican challenger, construction company owner Mick Rich.
Polls close at 9 pm Eastern. We have live results below, powered by Decision Desk.
New Mexico governor: can Democrats turn state leadership blue?
Current Republican Gov. Susana Martinez is term-limited out of the position, giving Democrats an opportunity to turn New Mexico state leadership even more blue. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the current chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, is the favorite to win the Democratic primary. Grisham received an overwhelming proportion of the vote during a pre-primary convention the Democratic Party held earlier this spring.
Jeff Apodaca, a former media executive and the son of former New Mexico Gov. Jerry Apodaca, is also running. State Sen. Joseph Cervantes is trailing at a distant third. The winner will be up against pro-Trump conservative Rep. Steve Pearce, a member of the Freedom Caucus and the lone Republican vying for the seat.
New Mexico’s First Congressional District: the battle for this seat underscores divisions within the Democratic Party
Lujan Grisham, the current representative for this heavily Democratic district, is also among the contenders for governor — setting up a fight among a slew of Democrats for her seat.
Among a stacked six-person Democratic roster, three have built sizable campaign war chests: former US Attorney Damon Martinez, retired University of New Mexico law professor Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, and former New Mexico Democratic Party Chair Deb Haaland. As the Huffington Post pointed out, their three-way battle for Democratic votes underscores a fight for control of the future of the party, with different organizations like Emily’s List and VoteVets running ads on opposing sides of the race.
Haaland, as part of her platform, has also emphasized a goal of becoming the first Native American woman elected to the House. Pat Davis, an Albuquerque City Council member; Damian Lara, a former congressional staffer who now works as a lawyer; and Paul Moya, CEO of the consulting firm Millennial Labs, are on the ballot as well. Former state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones is the sole Republican running. She ran against Lujan Grisham for the House position in 2012.
New Mexico’s Second Congressional District: Democrats see opportunity after Republican incumbent opts out of reelection
With Rep. Steve Pearce, the current Republican representative, running for governor, this district is open for fresh faces on both sides of the aisle.
For Democrats, Water attorney Xochitl Torres Small has a strong lead, with the backing of DCCC, Emily’s List, and NARAL Pro-Choice America. US Coast Guard veteran and history professor Madeline Hildebrandt is on the docket as well.
On the Republican side is a long list of conservatives.
The House Freedom Caucus is backing state Rep. Yvette Herrell, and Sen. Ted Cruz is endorsing former state Republican Party Chair Monty Newman. Meanwhile, Gavin Clarkson, a former official in the Trump administration’s Interior Department, has leaned into his ties with the White House. Former Gary Johnson campaign staffer Clayburn Griffin is also on the ballot. The Second District leans Republican and voted for Trump by more than 10 points over Hillary Clinton in 2016.