The New Mexico Democratic Party held its qualifying and endorsing convention during the past weekend. Candidates needed to record a minimum 20% of the delegate vote to qualify for the primary ballot. They also have the option of qualifying by signature petition, and can do so even if they fall short in the pre-primary convention.
In the two open House races, the Democratic delegates advanced former New Mexico Democratic Party chair Deb Haaland and retired law professor Antoinette Sedillo Lopez into the primary election. Ms. Haaland led the voting, 35-25%. Four other Democrats have announced their candidacies, including former US Attorney Damon Martinez, who has more on-hand funds than any candidate ($323,000), and Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis, but neither secured enough delegate support to automatically advance. It is unclear how many of the non-qualifiers will attempt to gather petition signatures. Incumbent Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-Albuquerque) is running for Governor, and easily scored the first position in the statewide convention with 67% delegate support.
In the open 2nd District, attorney Xochitl Torres Small placed first with 65% of the delegate vote. The second qualifier is college instructor Madeline Hildebrandt. The result is unsurprising because these two candidates are the only Democrats who filed. The Republican convention, held several weeks ago endorsed state Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-Alamogordo). Here, GOP Rep. Steve Pearce (R-Hobbs) is vacating the congressional seat to run for Governor.
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