Corrales voters pulled out all the stops for the March 1 municipal elections, recording a remarkable 36 percent voter turn out. That compares to just 12 percent in Rio Rancho’s election. Will that fervor extend to the next big election, the state’s party primaries June 7? All seats in the N.M. House of Representatives are up for grabs this November, as are victories for positions ranging from governor to probate judge. The party primaries in June will determine who the contenders will be.
Airwaves already are being filled with Republican candidates who want to take on Democratic incumbent Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. They include Jay Block of Rio Rancho, Rebecca Dow of Truth or Consequences, and Greg Zanetti, Ethel Maharg and Mark Ronchetti all of Albuquerque. Add to those would-be challengers Libertarian candidates Tim Walsh of Albuquerque, Karen Bedonie of Navajo and Ginger Grider of Portales who is a write-in.
Republicans will see a full slate for lieutenant governor as well: Travis Sanchez, Ant Thornton, Peggy Muller-Aragon, Isabella Solis, Anastacia Golden Morper and Patrick Lyon. Incumbent Democratic Congresswomen Melanie Stansbury and Teresa Leger Fernandez have no challengers in the June primary, although Republicans who want to replace Stansbury include Louie Sanchez, Michelle Garcia Holmes, Jacquelyn Reeve and Joshua Taylor Neal.
The two Republicans who want to battle Leger Fernandez this fall are Alexis Martinez Johnson and Jerald Steve McFall.
Nationwide, there is significantly greater attention being given to fielding candidates for the Secretary of State positions, largely due to expected Trump-inspired election result challenges. In New Mexico, the Democratic incumbent, Maggie Toulouse Oliver, is running unopposed as are Republican Audrey Trujillo of Corrales and Libertarian Mayna Erika Myers of Hobbs.
Democrats will have to choose between two running for N.M. Attorney General: Raul Torrez and Brian Colón, both of Albuquerque. There’s just one Republican running for AG, Jeremy Michael Gay of Gallup.
Two are running for State Auditor on the Democratic ticket: Joseph Maestas and Zachary Quintero. A Libertarian is running for that position as a write-in: Robert Jason Vaillancourt of Albuquerque.
On the Democratic ballot for State Treasurer are former Sandoval County Treasurer Laura Montoya, a Rio Rancho resident, and Heather Benavidez of Albuquerque. The winner will face Republican Harry Montoya this fall.
Two Republicans face off to be the party’s nominee for Commissioner of Public Lands: Jefferson Byrd of Tucumcari and Aubrey Dunn of Mountainair. Santa Fe Democrat Stephanie Garcia Richard has no challenger for that position in June.
Long-time Corrales State Representative Jane Powdrell-Culbert, a Republican, seeks another two-year term, but she has a challenger this time: Frida Susana Vasquez of Rio Rancho. A Rio Rancho Democrat, Kathleen Cates, will be on the ballot for N.M. House District 44 this fall since she has no opponent in the June primary.
Neither of the two candidates for the House District 23 seat, Democrat Ramón Montaño of Rio Rancho, nor Bernalillo Republican Alan Martinez, has an opponent in the primary.
Running to represent Corrales on the Sandoval County Commission (replacing Jay Block who stepped down to run for governor) are Placitas Democrat Katherine Bruch and Bernalillo Democrat Paul Madrid. There’s a Placitas Republican running for that position, Jeanette Nowers.
Sandoval County Sheriff candidates are Placitas Democrat Jesse James Casaus, who is unopposed in the primary, as well as two Republicans: Patrick Michael Mooney of Placitas and Darrell Keith Elder of Rio Rancho.
Seeking election as Sandoval County Assessor are Democrat Linda Gallegos of Rio Rancho and two Republicans: Richard Shanks of Corrales and Lawrence Griego of Rio Rancho.
Three Democrats are running for Sandoval County Probate Judge: Charles Aguilar, Edward Wayne Lovato and Ronnie Sisneros.
On the ballot for Sandoval County Magistrate Judge are Ann Marie Maxwell-Chavez, Benito Aragon, Kenneth Eichwald and Delilah Montaño-Baca.
Those running for N.M. Supreme Court Judge will have no opponents in the June primary. They are Thomas C. Montoya, Julie Vargas, Briana Zamora and Kerry Morris.
Seeking a judgeship on the N.M. Court of Appeals are Democrat Gerald Edward Baca, Libertarian Sophie Cooper and Republican Barbara V. Johnson. None has an opponent in the primary.
For the Court of Appeals Position 2, Libertarian Stephen P. Curtis wants the job, as does Democrat Katherine Anne Wray.