There haven’t been any official announcements since Maggie Toulouse Oliver said she was exploring a run, but a source close to her tells NM Political Report that she’s “all in” for a run for Secretary of State in 2016.
The Bernalillo County Clerk was the Democratic nominee for the position in 2014, where she lost to incumbent Dianna Duran 51.6 percent to 48.4 percent.
The source told NM Political Report about Toulouse Oliver’s plans on Tuesday, just after Gov. Susana Martinez named Brad Winter as the replacement Secretary of State. According to Martinez’s announcement, Winter will not run in 2016 and will only serve until January 1, 2017.
The news that Toulouse Oliver will be taking another run at the position is no surprise. Political observers and Democrats had believed that she would run again. The chatter only intensified after Duran was charged by Attorney General Hector Balderas on 64-counts (a 65th count was later added) and again after she resigned and pleaded guilty on six counts.
Because Duran left the position before the end of her term, the election will be held at the next general election. This means in November of 2016, in the presidential election year; statewide positions are usually up for election in non-presidential years.
The state constitution says the person chosen to fill vacancies “shall hold office until the next general election, when his successor shall be chosen for the unexpired term” which could mean before January 1, 2017.
Toulouse Oliver is term-limited from running again as Bernalillo County Clerk. Her term as county clerk ends at the end of 2016.
No Republican has indicated they intend to run for the position. Presumably, they were waiting to see Martinez’s choice to replace Duran.