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The Latest: Incumbent state lawmakers defeated in New Mexico

June 6, 2018
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New Mexico state Rep. Carl Trujillo, left, stands with Alan Feldman, a volunteer for the Democratic gubernatorial campaign of Michelle Lujan Grisham, as they greet voters outside a precinct in Santa Fe, N.M., Tuesday, June 5, 2018. The state has wide-open primary races for New Mexico governor and two congressional seats. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on New Mexico primary elections (all times local):

12:30 a.m.

Two incumbent New Mexico lawmakers have lost primary bids to Democratic challengers, including a Santa Fe-area representative who fought accusations of sexual harassment.

Democratic voters on Tuesday nominated Andrea Romero of Santa Fe to replace Rep. Carl Trujillo in a race with no Republican challenger. Trujillo denies a former lobbyist’s harassment allegations, which a panel of four lawmakers and an outside attorney are investigating.

Democrats also voted out Rep. Debbie Rodella of Espanola, who has served in the Legislature since 1993. They nominated retired education foundation director Susan Herrera of Embudo in a district with no Republican contenders.

Democrats are defending a 38-32 majority in the state House of Representatives.

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11:55 p.m.

State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard has won the Democratic nomination in the race for New Mexico public land commissioner.

Garcia Richard beat state Sen. George Munoz of Gallup and activist Garrett VeneKlasen of Santa Fe in Tuesday’s primary for land boss, a position that oversees oil and mineral development on state trust land.

Garcia Richard of White Rock will face Republican Patrick Lyons of Cuervo in November’s general election.

Lyons is a member of the Public Regulation Commission who previously served two terms as land commissioner. Libertarian candidate and rancher Michael Lucero also will be on the ballot.

Current Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn is running for U.S. Senate as a Libertarian.

The State Land Office is on track to collect record revenue from oil and gas lease sales this fiscal year as production in New Mexico rebounds.

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11:50 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham is emphasizing her concern for the most vulnerable residents of New Mexico after winning the Democratic nomination for governor.

Lujan Grisham said Tuesday evening that she will be taking a much different approach to addressing New Mexico’s economic difficulties than her Republican rival, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce.

Pearce advanced to November’s general election after running unopposed in the Republican primary for governor.

He says he knows what it takes to get the state on track and that he wants to help people “achieve the dignity that comes from having a good job.”

Lujan Grisham says state government can have a role in creating a strong economy and taking care of vulnerable residents at the same time.

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11:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump is expected to be an issue in a closely watched congressional race in southern New Mexico.

Republican former state Rep. Yvette Herrell will face Democratic attorney Xochitl Torres Small in the 2nd Congressional District along the U.S.-Mexico border after they won their parties’ nominations Tuesday.

Herrell says she strongly supports Trump and believes his policies will help the most Hispanic congressional district in the most Hispanic state in the nation.

Torres Small, who rarely mentioned Trump on the campaign trial, says Washington doesn’t get “our way of life here in southern New Mexico.” She promised to campaign in Hispanic areas and win over voters who rarely go to the polls.

The race in November may help determine which party controls the U.S. House of Representatives.

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9:45 p.m.

Former state Democratic Party leader Debra Haaland has won the party’s nomination for New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District as she tries to become the first Native American congresswoman.

Democrats are looking to maintain control over the Albuquerque-based seat in November. The member of Laguna Pueblo finished ahead of a crowded field that included former career prosecutor Damon Martinez, former law professor Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, attorney Damian Lara and business consultant Paul Moya.

Haaland will face former Republican state lawmaker Janice Arnold-Jones and Libertarian candidate Lloyd Princeton in the general election.

During the campaign, some fellow Democrats accused Haaland of not doing enough to address claims of misconduct while leading the state party. Haaland argued that she adopted a statewide sexual harassment policy for the party during her tenure.

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9:35 p.m.

Albuquerque attorney Brian Colon has won the Democratic nomination in the race for New Mexico state auditor.

He will face off against the sole Republican challenger, State Auditor Wayne Johnson, in the November general election.

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez appointed Johnson to the position after Democrat Tim Keller stepped down and took over as Albuquerque mayor.

Colon is a former state Democratic Party chairman who now lives in Albuquerque. He grew up in Las Cruces and started his career there. In 2010, he ran to be the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor.

Colon said during the campaign that the most important role of the auditor is to fight waste, fraud and abuse. He called for promoting a fraud hotline that would allow residents to report suspicious activity.

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9:15 p.m.

State Rep. Yvette Herrell has won the Republican nomination for New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District as the party looks to keep control of the seat along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Herrell on Tuesday finished ahead of a field that included former state GOP chairman Monty Newman and former U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs official Gavin Clarkson.

She will face Democratic nominee Xochitl Torres Small, a Las Cruces attorney, in November’s general election.

Throughout the campaign, the 54-year-old Alamogordo resident sought to position herself as a strong ally of President Donald Trump and a staunch supporter of the president’s push to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The congressional race is one of many expected to draw national attention because it may help determine which party controls the U.S. House.

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9 p.m.

State Sen. Howie Morales has won the Democratic nomination for New Mexico lieutenant governor.

He beat out two other experienced politicians to win Tuesday’s primary. He raised more campaign cash than his rivals.

During the campaign, Morales of Silver City stressed his background as a former teacher and said his experience would help the next administration oversee public schools and embark on education reforms.

Morales ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2014.

The sole Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, Michelle Garcia Holmes, is a former law enforcement officer. She’ll be paired with Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Pearce.

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8:30 p.m.

Las Cruces attorney Xochitl Torres Small has won the Democratic nomination for New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District as the party looks to take control of a seat along the U.S.-Mexico border that’s eluded it for years.

Torres Small on Tuesday defeated U.S. Coast Guard veteran Madeline “Mad” Hildebrandt. She’ll face the winner of a three-way contest for the Republican nomination in November’s general election.

The granddaughter of Mexican immigrants and wife of a state lawmaker, Torres Small has rarely mentioned President Donald Trump’s name on the campaign trail. She tells voters she’s a gun owner who postponed her honeymoon to go hunting.

The congressional race is one of many expected to draw national attention because it may help determine which party controls the U.S. House of Representatives.

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8:15 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham has won the Democratic nomination for New Mexico governor and will take on Republican Congressman Steve Pearce in November for the state’s top job.

The three-term congresswoman defeated state Sen. Joseph Cervantes and former media executive Jeff Apodaca in a campaign focused on improving the state’s lagging economy and public education.

Lujan Grisham leads the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and has been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump and his immigration policies.

She previously led state public health agencies under three former governors, including Democrat Bill Richardson. Her campaign received endorsements from an array of labor unions, progressive advocacy groups and several tribal governments.

State law prevents Republican Gov. Susana Martinez from seeking a consecutive third term.

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7 p.m.

Polls are closing in New Mexico as voters decide on a Democratic candidate for governor and major-party nominees for two open congressional seats.

More than 92,000 votes were cast on Tuesday as the race narrows to succeed Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, who cannot run for a consecutive third term.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham is competing against state Sen. Joseph Cervantes and former media executive Jeff Apodaca, the son of a former governor.

The winner will face the sole Republican candidate, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, in the November general election.

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6 p.m.

New Mexico election officials say primary Election Day voting has surpassed 92,000 people.

The New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office says the figures reflect a partial tally of votes as of 4 p.m. on Tuesday. Democrats accounted for nearly two-thirds of Election Day participants.

In addition, more than 110,000 ballots from early and absentee voters were cast before Saturday.

Candidates are competing in wide-open primary races for New Mexico governor and two congressional seats, and several additional statewide races.

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4:40 p.m.

The New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office says more than 57,000 people have cast ballots in the first six hours of voting Tuesday.

Spokesman Joey Keefe says the figure reflects voter numbers through 1 p.m. They represent an incomplete breakdown of Election Day voter turnout because not all counties use systems for analyzing numbers throughout the day.

Two-thirds of the voters in the early Election Day count were Democrats.

Tuesday’s numbers come in addition to the more than 110,000 ballots from early and absentee voters who cast their ballots before Saturday.

About 202,000 people in all voted in New Mexico’s last mid-term primary elections in 2014.

New Mexico voters are choosing from three Democratic candidates for governor. Two congressional seats are wide open.

Polls close at 7 p.m.

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4 p.m.

The New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office has received calls from voters asking about their registration status and voting locations, but a spokesman says it hasn’t received reports of major issues at the polling sites Tuesday.

Voting is underway for wide-open primary races for governor and two congressional seats. Polling places are open until 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Officials say early voter turnout ahead of Tuesday was higher than New Mexico’s 2014 mid-term primary election. Figures show more than 110,000 ballots were cast through Saturday during early voting.

Democrats Michelle Lujan Grisham, Joseph Cervantes and Jeff Apodaca are seeking their party’s nomination for governor. The winner will face the sole Republican candidate, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, in the November general election.

Voters in the state’s central and southern districts will decide which Democrats and Republicans will run for two seats in November.

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7:30 a.m.

Election-day voting is underway in New Mexico as voters select nominees in wide-open primary races for governor and two congressional seats.

Polling places are open until 7 p.m. Tuesday. Absentee ballots are also due by 7 p.m.

Democrats Michelle Lujan Grisham, Joseph Cervantes and Jeff Apodaca are seeking their party’s nomination for governor. The winner will face the sole Republican candidate, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, in the November general election.

Voters in the state’s central and southern districts will decide which Democrats and Republicans will run for two seats that could determine which parties control the U.S. House of Representatives.

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12:30 a.m.

Candidates are pushing toward the finish line in wide-open primary races for New Mexico governor and two congressional seats.

The three-way Democratic primary for governor devolved into attacks about private business dealings and trustworthiness in the days before Tuesday’s election. The state’s lagging economy, dissatisfaction with public education and concerns about urban crime took center stage in public forums and political advertising.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham is competing against state Sen. Joseph Cervantes and former media executive Jeff Apodaca, the son of a former governor.

The winner will face the sole Republican candidate, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, in the November general election.

A Democratic governor likely would shut Republicans out of redistricting decisions in 2021 and consolidate Democrats’ control over state government for a decade to come.

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