The Latest: Embattled senator loses Democratic nomination
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on the New Mexico primary election (all times local):
Embattled state Sen. Richard Martinez has lost his bid for the Democratic nomination to primary challenger Leo Jaramillo.
Martinez was seeking a sixth term but his political future became uncertain after being convicted and jailed for drunken driving after rear-ending a car at a stoplight in Española last year. The Ojo Caliente resident had previously served as chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee.
Jaramillo, a Rio Arriba County Commissioner and Española resident, also has drunken driving conviction in his past.
Jaramillo will take on Republican Diamantina Storment of Chama in the heavily Democratic district.
Attorney Teresa Leger Fernandez has defeated former CIA operative Valerie Plame to win the Democratic primary for an open seat representing New Mexico in Congress.
Leger Fernandez on Tuesday overcame six competitors to win her party’s nomination to succeed U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján as he runs for U.S. Senate. Sen. Tom Udall is retiring.
Leger Fernandez was able to upstage Plame with support from a long list of advocacy groups for progressive causes and greater Latina representation in Congress. She landed prominent political endorsements from U.S. Rep. Debra Haaland of Albuquerque and U.S. Senator and former presidential contender Elizabeth Warren.
Leger Fernandez was making her first bid for public office as a professional advocate for Native American communities and voting rights issues.
She could become the first woman to represent the state’s 3rd Congressional District. Her nomination is likely to be decisive in the vast northern district where Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly 2-1.
Incumbent state Sen. Gabriel Ramos has lost his bid for the Democratic nomination to Siah Correa Hemphill in a district that covers much of southwestern New Mexico.
Correa Hemphill was endorsed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich.
Ramos was appointed in 2019 to fill a vacant seat left by Lt. Gov. Howie Morales.
Drawing the ire of the more progressive wing of the Democratic Party and liberal advocacy groups, he opposed red-flag gun legislation signed by the governor in the wake of the August 2019 shooting in El Paso, Texas.
Ramos was among the incumbent Democrats targeted by liberal groups that have been working to push the party toward a more progressive agenda.
Former state Rep. Yvette Herrell has won the Republican nomination for New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, setting up a rematch with Democrat U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small of Las Cruces.
Herrell on Tuesday finished ahead of a field that included oil executive Claire Chase and Las Cruces businessman Chris Mathys following a nasty primary campaign marred by personal attacks. In the final days, a Democratic-leaning political action committee spent money on ads to help Herrell.
Chase called Herrell on Tuesday night to concede.
During the campaign, the candidates attacked each other for not supporting President Donald Trump enough.
The swing congressional race is one of many expected to draw national attention because it may help determine which party controls the U.S. House.
Former police detective Michelle Garcia Holmes has won the Republican nomination for a congressional district that includes New Mexico’s most populated area.
Garcia Holmes finished ahead of attorney Jared Vander Dussen of Albuquerque and businessman Brett Kokinadis of Santa Fe. She will face off against first-term U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland, who was one of the nation’s first Native American congresswomen.
Garcia Holmes was the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in 2018 and had served as the chief of staff for former Attorney General Gary King, a Democrat.
She has touted her decades-long career in law enforcement, which included investigating violent crimes against women and children.
Former television weatherman Mark Ronchetti of Albuquerque has won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate to compete in an open race to replace retiring Sen. Tom Udall.
Ronchetti defeated anti-abortion activist Elisa Martinez of Albuquerque and professor Gavin Clarkson of Las Cruces in Tuesday’s primary.
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of Nambé is the presumptive Democratic nominee, and the Libertarian Party is fielding Bob Walsch of Santa Fe.
Rochetti ran a campaign with upbeat slogans about the future and highlighted his support of President Donald Trump’s border wall in visits to the dividing line between Mexico and New Mexico. Martinez highlighted Ronchetti’s prior criticism of Trump.
Democrat Joe Biden has won the New Mexico presidential primary, his latest victory in Tuesday’s voting as he marches toward earning enough delegates to claim the party nomination before the summer convention.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has pledged to help Biden connect with racial- and ethnic-minority voters in the state. She has also been talked about as a possible Biden running mate.
Biden has also won Tuesday contests in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Indiana, Rhode Island and South Dakota.
With no active opposition, Biden is already the party’s presumed nominee. But the former vice president’s haul of delegates from Tuesday’s voting pushes him closer to the 1,911 delegates he needs to claim the Democratic presidential nomination.
Voters in several states and the District of Columbia are participating in primary elections. They coincide with a time of crisis across the country. Voters have had to navigate both health concerns over the coronavirus and protests against racism and police brutality.
Polls are closing in New Mexico as major parties settle on nominees for open U.S. House and Senate seats.
New Mexico stopped accepting absentee ballots and closed its polls by law at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, with some allowances for any existing lines of voters.
Early and absentee balloting has gained new popularity over traditional Election Day voting as public officials including Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham urged precautions against the coronavirus.
New Mexico health officials are reporting an additional 227 confirmed coronavirus cases. The majority are among inmates at a detention center in southern New Mexico.
New Mexico is deciding on final contenders in open races for a U.S. Senate seat and 3rd District congressional seat that last changed hands a dozen years ago.
State election regulators say more than 375,000 ballots have been cast in New Mexico’s primary election as political parties pick nominees for open U.S. House and Senate seats.
Statistics from the secretary of states office on Tuesday afternoon show that Democrats accounted for about 60% of primary ballots cast, amid a surge in Republican voting on Election Day.
Democrats were choosing from seven candidates in the 3rd Congressional District who hope to succeed U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján as he runs for U.S. Senate as the presumptive Democratic nominee. Sen. Tom Udall is retiring.
Republicans are deciding on nominees to challenge Luján for the Senate seat and first-term U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small in a southern New Mexico swing district.