Three incumbent Democratic state House members lost in their primaries Tuesday according to unofficial numbers. In a Santa Fe area district, Carl Trujillo was perhaps the most embattled incumbent. A lobbyist accused him of sexual harassment last month, though Trujillo denied the allegations. He now faces an investigation by the state Legislature in accordance with the state’s new sexual harassment rules. Trujillo was beat out by former Regional Coalition of LANL Communities Executive Director Andrea Romero.
The field is set for the 2018 state House primaries, with eight incumbents not filing for reelection and several others facing potentially competitive challenges either in the primary or the general election. Still, there are 26 candidates, all incumbents, who face no opposition in either the primary or general election. Independent and third party candidates can still enter, but it is much more difficult to make the ballot and win, due to higher signature requirements and a lack of party structure. Meanwhile, just two Libertarian Party candidates took advantage of the party’s new major party status to seek state legislative office. Here is a look at some of the 70 legislative races and dozens of candidates to watch.
Dr. Lisa Shin, a Los Alamos optometrist and daughter of Korean immigrants, is running as a Republican for the seat in the state House of Representatives currently held by Democrat Stephanie Garcia Richard. “As a successful small business owner and health care provider, I bring a pragmatic, common sense approach to the issues facing us. I believe that free market principles based on individual choice and personal responsibility can strengthen our schools, our health care system and our economy,” Shin, 49, said in a statement. Two Democrats, lawyer Christine Chandler and retired scientist Pete Sheehey, also are running for the seat. Both are members of the Los Alamos County Council.
Another Democratic elected official from New Mexico will be speaking at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this upcoming week. U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján’s campaign announced that Luján will speak at the convention. Luján is the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a key position when it comes to electing Democrats to the U.S. House. “This week in Cleveland the American people saw House Republicans put Party ahead of country by officially nominating Donald Trump, whose campaign has been defined by dangerous national security policies, harmful economic proposals, and rhetoric that divides Americans against each other,” Luján said. “These are not the values that I was raised with and these are not the values that will build a brighter future for the people of New Mexico and our nation.
A doctor from Los Alamos spoke at the Republican National Convention Thursday, the same day that Donald Trump formally accepted the party’s nomination and gave a lengthy speech. Dr. Lisa Shin, an optometrist, spoke about her support for Trump—and her opposition to presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. “Hillary Clinton is a direct threat to the American Dream,” Shin said in a short speech. “Her proposals would be utterly devastating to our economy. Her dangerous ideology undermines our democracy and freedom.”