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New Mexico's 2024 primary election results

Adam Kaz

Lobbyist Marianna Anaya wins crowded race for Nob Hill-area House seat - By Nash Jones, KUNM News 

Marianna Anaya, a lobbyist and community organizer, is set to fill the seat of longtime state Rep. Gail Chasey, who’s stepping aside after 27 years representing Albuquerque’s Nob Hill and University-area district.

Anaya beat out three other candidates in Tuesday's primary, according to an Associated Press race call, in one of the state's most crowded contests. She edged out family physician Anjali Taneja by about 400 votes. Candidates Gloria Doherty and Juan Larrañaga secured only about 10% of votes collectively.

Anaya received the endorsement of Chasey, who pushed back against negative connotations associated with lobbying, noting it was progressive causes that Anaya pushed for.

“I helped repeal the 1969 abortion ban and pass the Voting Rights Act,” she told KUNM ahead of Election Day. “And I know what it takes to not just stand firm in our values as Democrats, but also get something across the finish line.”

Anaya ran as the candidate who could get things done in the Roundhouse as someone who already works in that arena and has relationships with lawmakers.

She identifies as a queer woman of color and says her family has experienced homelessness, incarceration, substance abuse and barriers to accessing medical care. She highlighted this lived experience during the campaign.

“It is one thing to be an outsider saying ‘I care about XYZ communities.’ And it’s another thing to be a candidate and say, ‘I have lived that experience,’” she said.

Anaya will run unopposed in November’s general election unless a minor party or Independent candidate challenges her.

Native advocate Angel Charley wins Senate District 30 Democratic primary - Jeanette DeDios, KUNM News

Native American advocate Angel Charley has beat out former State Senator Clemente Sanchez for Senate District 30 with about 64% of the vote, according to unofficial results.

Redistricting played a key role in this race. The Republican incumbent, Joshua Sanchez, decided to run for District 29 instead and some Native communities like Isleta Pueblo are now part of District 30.

Charley’s opponent, Sanchez, served eight years in the legislature until 2020 when he lost to progressives in the primaries of that same year. He is now retired.

Charley formerly led the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women and now leads Illuminative, a national organization focused on Native representation. She said that all the work she did at the coalition brought her to where she is now.

“We did a lot of advocacy and education around state legislature bills, especially around murdered and missing Indigenous women,” she said. “So supporting the MMIWR task force, holding the taskforce accountable, advocating for funding for multiple initiatives across multiple issues. We were one of four organizations that came together to codify the Indian Child Welfare Act, which is now a state law.”

Her top priorities include protecting abortion access and reproductive care, and lessening the state’s dependence on oil and gas.

“I've long advocated for our lessening dependence on oil and gas and extractive industries, because there's a correlation with violence against Native women when extractive industries are present,” she said.

Charley said that her opponent has a history of making decisions that are not in the best interests of District 30 and the state of New Mexico.

“His legislation on minimum wage is one of the reasons that we have the $12 minimum wage we do right now,” she said. “He didn't tie it to inflation, so it could have and should have been higher than it is right now.”

She said that people need to have a livable wage.

“We cannot continue to live paycheck to paycheck, work multiple jobs,” she said. “Single-income households just cannot make ends meet. It's just not acceptable.”

With no Republican candidate running, Charley will likely win the seat if no other Independent or minor party challengers face her in the general election in November.

‘Uncommitted’ vote in New Mexico Democratic presidential primary surpasses organizers’ expectations - By Nash Jones, KUNM News

While President Joe Biden is already his party's presumptive nominee, he’s faced protest votes across the country from voters who oppose his handling of Israel’s war in Gaza. In New Mexico Tuesday, nearly 13,000 Democrats cast an ‘uncommitted’ vote, according to unofficial results.

Leila Salim, an organizer with the Vote Uncommitted New Mexico campaign, said the turnout surpassed their expectations.

“We’re all very happy with the results. We’re a really small movement," she said. "We had almost no funding, so it was really grassroots.”

She said the movement is about sending Biden a “wake up call.”

“That he needs to earn our votes,” she said. “That, by November, he needs to make a shift in policy.”

Salim said the group wants the Biden Administration to back a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and end U.S. arms transfers to Israel among other policy changes.

If the ‘uncommitted’ vote secures 15% of votes in New Mexico Congressional District 1, New Mexico could send at least one delegate to join other uncommitted delegates from around the country at the Democratic National Convention. And if they don’t reach that threshold?

“The movement that has started will continue,” said Salim. “We don’t expect that this is the end.”

Meanwhile, around 110,000 New Mexico Democrats cast their primary vote for the President.

Sam Bregman likely to remain Bernalillo County DA after defeating Damon Martinez - Bryce Dix, KUNM News

Sam Bregman will most likely remain the Second Judicial District Attorney after securing an almost 13 percentage point win over his opponent, former U.S. Attorney for New Mexico Damon Martinez in Tuesday’s Democratic primary election, according to unofficial results.

The race was, without a doubt, the most expensive in the state.

According to state campaign finance records, Sam Bregman secured over $472,000 in funds from various sources. Most notably, Bregman received two eye-popping $11,000 contributions from the computer store Holmans USA and the company behind the Ruidoso Downs track and casino.

Bregman’s involvement in horse racing goes back to 2021, when he joined the New Mexico Racing Commission. He left shortly after he was appointed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in 2023 to serve the remainder of former District Attorney Raul Torrez’s term.

His campaign received nearly $25,000 from current and past racing commissioners and race track owners, according toreporting from Source New Mexico.

In addition to his extensive experience both as a prosecutor and defense attorney, Bregman serves as the chair of the governor’s Organized Crime Commission. He graduated from the University of New Mexico School of Law.

Initially, Bregman was vocal about his intentions to not seek reelection this year to focus on the DA position, rather than politics. That changed as Bregman started to serve in his new role. He told the Albuquerque Journal he has a lot more he’d like to get done before stepping aside.

Bregman has received criticism for his handling of a federal investigation into corruption in the Albuquerque Police Department’s DWI Unit that became public earlier this year. It resulted in Bregman dismissing more than 150 DWI cases.

Since no Republican candidates ran for the seat, Bregman will most likely step into another term after the November general election. Though, there is a possibility that minor party or Independent candidates will challenge him.

Santa Fe affirms the work of high-profile DA Carmack-Altwies in the primary -  By Alice Fordham and Nash Jones, KUNM News 

First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies is on her way to another term in office after defeating her predecessor in the Santa Fe district, Marco Serna, in Tuesday’s Democratic primary election by nearly 62%, according to unofficial results.

The campaign centered on high profile cases that have largely defined Carmack-Altwies' first term, which Serna — who held the role from 2017 to 2020 — said he’d have handled differently.

Carmack-Altwies has pursued convictions in the 2021 “Rust” movie shooting, for instance, where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died after being accidentally shot by actor and producer Alec Baldwin. She says the case has cost about $600,000 so far, half of which special legislative funding covered. While Serna accused the DA of “hemorrhaging money” on special prosecutors and a communication firm for the case, Carmack-Altwies argued it was worth the cost, “because every victim deserves justice.”

Carmack-Altwies also ran on her preference for a restorative justice approach to non-violent crimes. She used that approach in the 2020 case of eight people arrested for toppling the obelisk in Santa Fe Plaza. They had to participate in a restorative justice program, write an apology letter and stay out of trouble for two years. Their charges were then dismissed. Serna had argued that approach lacked accountability.

When asked about achievements in her four years as DA, Carmack-Altwies pointed to lobbying for more funding to hire eight new people. She said it is hard for public prosecutors to retain attorneys who would often get paid better elsewhere.

No Republican candidates ran for the seat, so Carmack-Altwies is likely to secure another term in November. Though, there’s still a possibility minor party or Independent candidates will step up to oppose her.

Steve Jones will take on Stansbury after winning Congressional District 1 GOP primary Megan Myscofski, KUNM News

Melanie Stansbury now has competition for her seat in November’s election. Steve Jones won the Republican primary race for Congressional District 1, which includes most of Albuquerque, with over 51% of the vote, according to unofficial results.

Jones is a retired accountant in Ruidoso with experience in the oil and gas industry. He has run on a mostly economic platform, advocating for less government spending and a reduction of the national debt.

His primary opponent, Louie Sanchez, is a health care equipment salesman who also co-owns several shooting ranges, and has supported closing the border with Mexico, loosening gun ownership restrictions and reducing government regulation on business.

Both candidates have run for Congress before – Sanchez ran in the same district, and Jones ran in District 2 before his Ruidoso home became a part of District 1 through redistricting in 2021.

Jones used to produce a public television show on financial news with his wife at a Texas PBS affiliate station.

The 1st Congressional District leans blue, with Democrats expected to secure over 53% of the district’s likely votes, according to a partisan performance analysis.

Former DACA recipient Cindy Nava wins Senate District 9 Democratic primary - By Taylor Velazquez, KUNM News 

Voters in Senate District 9, which covers Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, have elected Cindy Nava to run for the Democratic seat this November, according to an Associated Press race call. Nava beat out competitor Heather Balas by almost 10 percent, with just over 54% of the total vote, according to unofficial results, and will be facing off against Audrey Trujillo for the seat that will replace incumbent Brenda McKenna, who has given her support to Nava.

A former DACA recipient who received her citizenship 3 years ago, Nava returned to New Mexico to run for Senate District 9 after being a presidential appointee who worked in the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department. Nava would be one of the first former DACA recipients to hold elected office if she wins in November.

She will be running on the issues of affordable housing after her work in Washington D.C. She aims to open access to first-generation homebuyers, first-time home buyers, and young homebuyers.

Nava said she realizes that the district is diverse and that the need to fully fund public education is crucial. She aims to improve equity in public schools, meet the Yazzie/Marintez ruling and improve teachers’ salaries.

Nava was endorsed by many former and sitting lawmakers, Planned Parenthood and the American Federation of Teachers.

Heather Berghmans ousts Ivey-Soto in Senate District 15 Democratic primary - Jeanette DeDios, KUNM News

Heather Berghmans has won the Democratic primary race for Senate District 15, handily defeating her opponent Daniel Ivey-Soto with about 80% of votes, according to unofficial results. She will go up against Republican Craig Degenhardt in November.

Berghmans was finance director for the New Mexico House Democratic Campaign. She also worked as a policy analyst for Democratic officials including House Speaker Javier Martinez.

Her opponent Ivey-Soto was the incumbent in the race with nearly 12 years of experience in the state Legislature.

Allegations of sexual harassment that were brought against him in 2022 may have played a factor in his loss. Though he did not face official punishment, Ivey-Soto resigned as chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, saying the allegations were a distraction. Another complaint was filed with the State Ethics Commission alleging that he committed financial impropriety. Ivey-Soto told KUNM the Commission dismissed all charges against him.

Berghman’s top priorities include housing and homelessness, public safety, and education.

She’ll be on the ballot in November against Republican candidate Craig Degenhardt, who ran unopposed in his party’s primary. Degenhardt is a senior industrial designer whose campaign mentions crime and education as his main priorities.

Berghmans raised $146,194 for her primary bid, with the biggest share coming from individual donors. Lawmakers like House Speaker Javier Martinez and Sen. Katy Duhigg also funded her campaign. She also has political action committees like Emily’s List, which backs Democratic women who support reproductive rights. Degenhardt on the other hand only raised $1,173, with most of his funds coming from himself, according to campaign finance records.

Looking ahead to the general election, Democrats in the area have more registered voters with more than 46% compared to 27.5% for Republicans, according to a partisan performance analysis, which estimates that Democrats will win more than 57% of votes.

Progressive Dem with gov’s support ousts conservative Castellano from House District 70 - By Nash Jones, KUNM News

The third time’s a charm. After losing to conservative Democratic Rep. Ambrose Castellano in 2020 and 2022 by less than 100 votes, progressive challenger Anita Gonzales prevailed in Tuesday’s House District 70 primary election, according to an Associated Press race call.

In contrast to the hair-thin margins of the candidates’ last two encounters, Gonzales, who supports key progressive proposals Castellano voted against, won by more than 400 votes, according to unofficial results. She also had the backing of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham this time around.

As a conservative Democrat, Castellano has broken with his party several times over his two terms in the Roundhouse. He opposed repealing the state’s dormant abortion ban in 2021. He voted against cutting small loan interest rates from storefront lenders. And he contributed to the Paid Family Medical Leave Act failing by two votes earlier this year.

Gonzales listed residents’ pocketbooks as her top priority on her campaign site. In direct contrast to Castellano, she said securing paid family and medical leave and protecting lower interest rates on payday loans are key ways to do that. She also supports access to reproductive health care “without government interference.”

Lujan Grisham wrote in her endorsement of Gonzales that she trusts her “to fight for the policies that support families struggling to make ends meet.” She also cited Gonzales’ educational equity work as a Deputy Director for New Mexico Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (NM MESA) and protection of natural resources as an acequia commissioner.

Castellano raised more than double Gonzales’ $83,988 for the primary campaign, according to the latest records. However, looking just at contributions from individuals, Gonzales brought in $37,637 — more than three times the amount of Castellano’s $10,094. The vast majority of his donations came from business entities and other such contributors.

No Republican sought the District 70 seat in the primary, so it’s likely Gonzales will win the Las Vegas-area seat in November. However, minor party and Independent candidates have until June 27 to declare their candidacy ahead of the general election.

Audrey Trujillo wins Republican primary race for New Mexico Senate District 9 - By Taylor Velazquez, KUNM News 

Voters in Senate District 9, which covers Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, have elected Audrey Trujillo to run for the Republican seat this upcoming November to replace incumbent Brenda McKenna who is not seeking reelection. She beat out primary competitor Frida Vasquez with 58% of votes Tuesday, according to unofficial results.

Trujillo is known for previously running for local government, most notably the 2022 Secretary of State race after expressing uncertainties concerning the 2020 presidential election results.

Trujillo said she was and still is motivated by working towards transparency in government and believes that taxpayers should know how their money is being spent.

Trujillo also told KUNM that she sees the cycle of violent crime as a reflection of current laws not being enforced and incentivizing crime. Trujillo says we need more stringent laws while also bringing a nuanced approach to dealing with issues of addiction. She’d like to see the state better invest in intervention programs to get people in recovery rather than falling back on jails.

Trujillo was endorsed by the National Rifle Association and Mental Health Now in her primary bid.

Maestas wins first Senate election in District 26 primary, heads to general to defend his seat - By Nash Jones, KUNM News 

Though Democrat Antonio “Moe” Maestas has served in the Roundhouse for 18 years, only two of those have been in the New Mexico Senate. The former Representative was appointed to the position in 2022. In Tuesday’s primary, Democratic voters of District 26 on Albuquerque’s Westside affirmed they want him to represent them, according to an Associated Press race call.

The Santa Fe New Mexican referred to the race between Maestas and Julie Radoslovich as “one of the most contentious contests” in the Democratic primaries. While Maestas referred to his challenger’s campaign as “a power grab by a very aggressive and entitled individual,” Radoslovich called Maestas an “unelected incumbent” who had a “free ride” until now.

Besides personal attacks, education was a centerpiece of the campaign.

In the House, Maestas was the lead sponsor of a resolution to tap a state trust for early childhood education. On his website, he committed to pursuing educational reform policies that “foster inclusivity and innovation.”

Despite Radoslovich running on her experience as a longtime educator and principal, Maestas carried the key educational endorsements, including the Albuquerque teacher’s union and University of New Mexico faculty union.

Maestas also had the backing of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and spent nearly 4 times the amount of his challenger on his primary bid, according to campaign finance records.

He now moves on to the general election in November. No Republican ran for the seat, so it’s likely all but secured. However, minor party and Independent candidates still have until June 27 to declare their candidacy to challenge the incumbent.

Appointed state Rep. Gurrola Valenzuela heads to District 16 general election - By Nash Jones, KUNM News 

Rep. Yanira Gurrola Valenzuela, who has represented New Mexico House District 16 since her appointment In 2023, beat out Marsella Duarte in the Democratic primary election Tuesday, according to an Associated Press race call. Duarte had also been appointed to the seat for a few weeks in late 2022. Gurrola Valenzuela will go up against Republican Leland Bohannon in November.

The two candidates were each appointed to the District 16 seat after longtime Representative Antonio “Moe” Maestas was appointed to the Senate in 2022. Duarte finished out his 2022 term and the Bernalillo County Commission later appointed Gurrola Valenzuela to finish his next two-year term.

Yesterday’s [TUES] victory was Gurrola Valenzuela’s first election, having no prior political experience before her appointment. A math teacher, department chair and bilingual coordinator for Albuquerque Public Schools for over a decade, she worked as an engineer in Mexico before immigrating to the U.S.

She ran in part on her new-found record as a lawmaker. This year, she co-sponsored legislation requiring colleges and universities to adopt affirmative consent and trauma-informed policies for investigating sexual abuse allegations. Last year, she carried a bill that created a special status to protect juvenile immigrants who experience abuse or neglect.

She told the League of Women Voters one of her priorities is reducing crime in the district on Albuquerque’s Westside. She cited “neighborhood policing, drug treatment, and more police officers,” as policies she’s interested in pursuing.

She’ll be on November’s ballot against Republican candidate Leland Bohannon, who ran unopposed in his party’s primary. Bohannon is a retired Air Force pilot whose campaign lists crime and the economy as his top priorities.

The Associated Press reported in 2017 the Air Force disciplined Bohannon for refusing to sign a certificate of appreciation for the same-gender spouse of a retiring airman. He appealed on religious grounds, which the Air Force Times reported was granted by then-Secretary of the Air Force and former Republican U.S. Representative of New Mexico, Heather Wilson.

Gurrola Valenzuela raised over $111,000 for her contested primary bid, while unopposed Bohannon raised about $4,800, all but about $300 of which came from himself, according to campaign finance records.

While almost exactly half of District 16 residents are registered Democrats, the district leans more blue. A partisan performance analysis estimates Democrats would win about 60% of its likely votes.

Michelle Pauline Abeyta defeats House District 69 incumbent in the Democratic primary - Jeanette DeDios, KUNM News

Michelle Pauline Abeyta has won the Democratic primary race for House District 69, according to unofficial results. She defeated incumbent Harry Garcia, who’s been in office since 2016, and miner Stanley Michael, winning more than 55% of the votes.

District 69 lies west of Albuquerque from White Rock all the way to Alamo Navajo Reservation. It’s one of the biggest districts, encompassing six counties.

Abeyta is a member of the Navajo Nation and is from To’hajiilee, New Mexico and continues to live there today with her husband and children. She received a Bachelor's degree from the University of New Mexico before earning her Doctorate in Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy from the University of Arizona.

As a board member of the To’hajiilee Community School Board of Education, Abeyta said her top priorities include the safety of infrastructure within schools in her area.

“The buildings in a lot of communities are deteriorating, they're old, and they're not sustaining the population,” she said. “They're not a safe space for our teachers, our staff, or students.”

Abeyta said the main reason she decided to run was the lack of work being done to fund a preschool program within her community. This encouraged her to ask other community members within the district, “Who else has been left out?”

“Who else has not received the support they needed?” she asked. “And, come to find out, it was almost every community.”

In this rural district, Abeyta said there are a lot of multi-generational homes that lack sufficient infrastructure. She ran in part on changing that.

“So that if they want to build a structure or if they want to pull a mobile home or a prefabricated home, they can,” she said. “To be able to support broadband, water, electricity, sewage, decent roads for buses to come through, for public safety to come through —we're gonna have to get really creative.”

No Republicans ran for the District 69 seat, meaning Abeyta will likely win in November’s general election. However, minor party and Independent candidates could still oppose her.

Joseph Hernandez wins primary to replace Anthony Allison in House District 4 - Jeanette DeDios, KUNM

Joseph Hernandez has won the House District 4 Democratic primary race to succeed longtime State Rep. Anthony Allison, who is retiring. He beat out two other candidates Tuesday with 51 % of the vote, according to unofficial results. Hernandez will now face off against Republican candidate Lincoln Mark in November.

A member of the Navajo Nation, Hernandez was born and raised in Shiprock and works as a community organizer.

His top prioritiesinclude finding renewable energy solutions that are sustainable and affordable. He supports expanding microgrids and renewable resources like solar and wind power in order to reduce energy costs and allow every household to have reliable access to electricity.

Hernandez said he also believes in providing accessible and quality health care. He wants to improve behavioral health and ensure care is accessible.

With the state’s ongoing housing crisis, Hernandez said he wants to create policies that will increase the amount of affordable housing while also working with local governments to keep down construction costs.

Republican general election candidate Mark is a former government and legislative affairs associate that resigned from his position at the Navajo Nation Washington Office.

As a member of the Navajo Nation who grew up in Shiprock, Mark earned a Master's degree in federal Indian Law at the University of New Mexico before earning a doctoral degree in law from the University of South Dakota.

In a podcast, he said that he wants to earn the trust of the community and make a difference. He said he has New Mexicans’ interest at heart.

Hernandez raised $16,850 in his primary bid. His biggest donors included Allison and the Committee on Individual Responsibility, which is a political action committee made up of attorneys. Mark, who ran unopposed, only raised $1,050, with contributions from Jordan Greenstein and himself.

Blue runs strong in District 4, which is 43% registered Democrats and 27% registered Republicans. A legislative partisan performance analysis estimated Democrats would win more than 55% of the district’s likely votes.

Incumbent Marian Matthews to defend her House District 27 seat in the general election - By Taylor Velazquez, KUNM News

Democratic Incumbent Marian Matthews has been elected to face off with Republican challenger, Gregory Gallegos in the November general election for House District 27. She beat her primary challenger, Greg Seeley, with over 55% of the vote in Tuesday’s primary election, according to unofficial results.

Matthews was first elected in 2020 after seeing the district through the stressors of the pandemic. During her first term, she sponsored legislation to curtail organized retail crime and support small business.

If reelected to the seat, Matthews told KUNM she would focus on the health care provider shortage by looking at compacts that would allow New Mexican patients to see doctors who are licensed out of state, most likely through telehealth.

She said she’s also interested in fixing the culture of the Children, Youth, and Families Department, including finding ways to support its employees and hold the agency publicly accountable.

Notably, while Matthews is a supporter of Paid Family and Medical Leave, she came under criticism during this year’s Legislative session due to drafting an alternative bill. Matthews told KUNM she was worried the original bill would financially burden caregiving organizations that work with people with disabilities and seniors. Both bills fell through during the session.

Matthews was endorsed by New Mexico House Speaker Javier Martinez, Conservation Voters of New Mexico, and Planned Parenthood.

Her general election opponent Gallegos is a business owner who was a former U.S. Navy operations specialist. His main priorities include crime, economy, and education.

More results from New Mexico's national, Democratic state Senate, Republican state Senate, Democratic state House, Republican state House, and district attorney primary elections from the Associated Press.

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