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VIDEO: Secretary Of State Candidate Debate

New Mexico PBS
Democrat Maggie Toulouse Oliver (left) and Republican Nora Espinoza discuss their priorities.

Debate Highlights Stakes In Race For NM Secretary Of State – Associated Press

Two candidates vying to become New Mexico's top elections and campaign finance regulator used a debate on Sunday morning to present sharply different visions of how to run the New Mexico Secretary of State's Office.

Republican Nora Espinoza, a former teacher and member of the state House of Representatives for the past decade, emphasized her intention to safeguard the integrity of the voting system against concerns of voter fraud.

She attacked her Democratic opponent's administrative record as a county clerk at nearly every turn in an hourlong debate.

The Democratic candidate, Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver, accused her opponent of attempting to suppress voter participation in a state where registered Democrats significantly outnumber Republicans. She touted her knowledge and experience in administering elections in New Mexico's most populous county since 2007.

The Secretary of State's office oversees a balloting system that relies heavily on elected clerks in 33 counties to run elections and update voter registration rolls.

The victor in the polls will fill the remainder of a term vacated by former Secretary of State Dianna Duran. Duran resigned last year after pleading guilty to felony counts of embezzlement.

Video courtesy of New Mexico PBS.

Elaine Baumgartel was KUNM's News Director from 2013 to 2019. She was local Morning Edition host from 2007 through 2012 and she regularly hosted the station's live news and public affairs show for some years. Elaine originally came on board at KUNM as a volunteer and student employee in 2003.