March 8, 2016

Who’s running for state House, Senate seats?



Today is filing day for all seats in both chambers of the state legislature. All 112 seats (42 in the Senate, 70 in the House) will be up for election this November.

Photo Credit: bjmccray cc


Photo Credit: bjmccray cc

But first, candidates must run in their party’s respective primaries.

Earlier, we looked at some key seats to keep an eye on as November draws ever closer.

By the end of the day, we’ll have the full list of legislators who are filing to run for reelection. We will update the spreadsheets below throughout the day as candidates file.

Initially, this is populated with those who already announced they would run for the seats in the House and Senate, as well as for those incumbents who have said they would not run for reelection.

We included the party that currently holds the seat as a reference. All incumbents who are running are in italics and bold.

See comments on some races (as they came in throughout the day) below the spreadsheet.

The spreadsheet below should be the final version.


It looks like Google Docs will not automatically live refresh the spreadsheet on this page, so you will need to refresh.

Also, at the bottom of the spreadsheet is a tab to go between the House and Senate.

If you see any mistakes (we’re doing this live, as a certain broadcaster once said), shoot an email to

Update 2 (10:30 a.m.): A few interesting primaries on tap already. One pits incumbent Nick Salazar, who has been in the state legislature since 1973, against Rio Arriba County Commissioner Barney Trujillo.

And House District 38, which will be vacated by Dianne Hamilton at the end of the year, will see competitive primaries on both sides; it’s not clear how many districts can boast that.

In the Senate, Democrats Jeff Steinborn (a current state Representative) will face former Doña Ana County Commissioner Oscar Vásquez Butler in the Democratic primary in Senate District 38; Republican Lee Cotter holds the district, but Democrats are bullish on taking that seat back. 

Correction: This previously said HD 38 was Dona Irwin’s seat, but it is Dianne Hamilton’s.

Update 3 (11:00 a.m.):

Two Republicans have already filed to run for Sue Wilson Beffort’s old seat. Wilson Beffort, herself a Republican, announced her retirement this year, and Anthony Linn Thornton and Herb A Gadberry filed to run.

It looks like this is the same Anthony Thornton who describes himself as a black Tea Party activist and is the author of “My Crazy White Wife is a Racist? Really?—A Patriotic Look at Liberal Hypocrisy.”

Gadberry is a realtor who lives in Edgewood.

Update 4 (11:30 a.m.): 

Everyone wants to replace Wilson Beffort; James P. White, the former state representative threw his hat in the ring.

Also, many thought that Carroll Leavell would not run for reelection. He missed chunks of the legislative session while undergoing cancer treatment.

Update 5 (11:55 a.m.): Going on a quick lunch break here in a few minutes, but thought I’d point out that in many districts, the winner of one primary is all-but elected to the Legislature; State Senate District 19 (the one we’ve been talking about a lot today) is one of those, for Republicans.

And so is House District 49, only for Democrats. Luciano “Lucky” Varela is leaving the seat, so his son Jeff Varela is running. The younger Varela will face Linda Trujillo and Paul D Campos in the primary.

Trujillo is currently the Santa Fe School Board president, while Campos is a former Santa Fe County Commissioner.

So far, no Republican has filed.

Update 6 (12:05 p.m.): John Ryan made it official, he’s not running (the Santa Fe New Mexican reported this earlier today).

“I want to thank the voters of Senate District 10 who gave me the opportunity to serve in the Senate for the past 12 years,” Senator Ryan said in a statement. “It has been a true honor for me to work with my colleagues, the governors, state officials and many others involved in the legislative process.  I deeply appreciate all who have supported me throughout my years of service.”

There are a Democrat and Republican both seeking his seat: The Democrat is David J. Somon and the republican is Jose Orozco. Look for a spirited race in what could be a swing district—especially without an incumbent.

Update 7 (1:10 p.m.): 

Beloved 91-year old State Senator John Pinto is running again. The former Navajo Code Talker has served since 1977.

Meanwhile, the race to replace former Speaker of the House Ken Martinez, another of the retiring members of the Legislature, will have at least three Democratic candidates.

Terry Fletcher of Grants (who appears to be on the board of directors of the bank of which Sen. Clemente Sanchez is CEO and President), Harry Garcia of Grants and Bennie Shelley of Thoreau all filed to run.

Update 8 (1:40 p.m.):

Another few interesting contested primaries.

James Roger Wilder of Sandia is also running in the Republican primary Senate District 19, bringing that to a four-way primary to replace Wilson Befort.

Former chair of the Board of Trustees for Luna Community College and former Board Member of the West Las Vegas School Board Ambrose M Castellano joins the race for Senate District 39; three Democrats are looking to face Ted Barela in the general election.

Sen. George Munoz has a primary challenger in Senate District 4: Felisha Adams. Her grandfather, Albert Shirley, was a State Representative.

Sen. John Sapien will face Jordilynn Ortiz of Placitas in the primary election in Senate District 9; this is considered a swing seat and right now Diego Espinoza is the lone Republican candidate.

Update 9 (2:10 p.m.): 

An interesting filing in House District 65. Darryl F Madalena filed to run. The current holder of that seat?  James Roger Madalena.

Darryl is James Roger’s son.

The younger Madalena confirmed to NM Political Report in a short phone interview that his dad will not be running for state representative this year.

Darryl is currently a Sandoval County Commissioner.

Update 10 (4:10 p.m.): Things suddenly got busy here in the last couple of hours. A couple of things we wrote:

Sandra Jeff is running for Senate against Benny Shendo in the Democratic primary in Senate District 22.

Chris Berkheimer is running against Christine Trujillo in House District 25; he has a past that will make his campaign more difficult, however.