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Toulouse Oliver Elected Secretary Of State, Nakamura Keeps Supreme Court Seat

New Mexico in Focus

Toulouse Oliver Elected Secretary Of State - The Associated Press

Democrat Maggie Toulouse Oliver will be New Mexico's next secretary of state.

Toulouse Oliver, the Bernalillo County clerk, on Tuesday defeated Republican Nora Espinoza, a member of the state House and former teacher.

She will fill the last two years of Dianna Duran's term as top administrator overseeing elections and campaign finance disclosures. Duran resigned in 2015 and was convicted on embezzlement and money laundering charges, acknowledging that she used campaign funds to fuel a gambling spree.

The tough race has focused on voter fraud and restoring the integrity of the office.

Toulouse Oliver unsuccessfully challenged Duran in 2014 in a campaign that hinged on similar themes.

This time, she campaigned on her experience overseeing elections and voter rolls in the state's most populous county.

New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Keeps Her Seat On The Bench - The Associated Press

New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Judith Nakamura will keep her spot on the bench.

The Republican on Tuesday beat out Democrat Michael Vigil, who has served on the state Court of Appeals for 13 years.

Nakamura was first appointed to the high court last year by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez. She filled a vacancy left by Justice Richard Bosson.

Nakamura is a longtime Albuquerque resident, a University of New Mexico law school graduate and an avid hot-air balloon pilot. She previously served as chief judge in Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court before moving to the Second Judicial District Court in 2013.

Before graduating from law school, Nakamura was a political director for the state GOP, a staffer for former Sen. Pete V. Domenici and a special assistant on President Ronald Reagan's 1984 inauguration committee.