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The Latest: Senate candidates in New Mexico all smoked pot

October 27, 2018
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A three-way race for U.S. Senate in New Mexico had its first debate on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, featuring Libertarian Gary Johnson, from left, incumbent Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich and Republican Mick Rich. Republicans are defending a 51-49 majority in the Senate in fall elections. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on a Senate candidate debate in New Mexico (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

Three candidates for Senate in New Mexico found common ground during a rambunctious televised debate by each acknowledging that they had smoked marijuana before.

During the Friday debate, Libertarian Senate candidate and longtime marijuana user Gary Johnson badgered and interrupted Republican candidate Mick Rich when Rich initially appeared to avoid answering whether or not he had ever smoked pot.

Rich eventually said yes without elaborating. He does not support legalization based on health and safety concerns.

Johnson became an early advocate for legalizing cannabis in 1999 as governor of New Mexico and still uses it occasionally. Heinrich said someone whose only crime is marijuana possession does not belong in the criminal justice system.

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2:20 p.m.

Three candidates for U.S. Senate in New Mexico are scheduled to meet in a second and final public debate ahead of Election Day.

Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich is seeking re-election to a second term as candidates converged Friday for the televised debate in Albuquerque at KRQE .

Libertarian candidate and former Gov. Gary Johnson says he’d act as an influential swing vote and voice for limited government in the Senate. Republican construction contractor and political newcomer Mick Rich is embracing Donald Trump’s policies on immigration as a migrant caravan walks across Mexico toward the U.S.

Heinrich casts himself as an opponent of Trump who will defend federal health care and retirement programs.

Republicans have a narrow 51-49 majority in the U.S. Senate. Democrats are defending 26 incumbent Senate seats.

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