September 15, 2016

NM’s final ballots include eight presidential candidates



The election ballots for November are set, and New Mexicans will have a few options when it comes to the presidential race.

Photo Credit: bjmccray cc


Photo Credit: bjmccray cc

The ballots became final Tuesday at 5 p.m., giving time to print ballots and send to overseas and military voters starting this weekend.

Secretary of State Chief of Staff Ken Ortiz told NM Political Report the ballots are final, barring a court stay or another order.

At this point, that seems unlikely.

On the presidential ticket, six smaller political parties qualified for the ballot alongside Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump.

The most notable is former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. Johnson served two terms as governor while a member of the Republican Party, but for the second time in a row will head the Libertarian Party ticket.

Johnson’s campaign announced he will appear on the ballot in all 50 states, the first third-party candidate to do so in two decades.

Another presidential candidate who has received national attention is Green Party nominee Jill Stein. Stein, a medical doctor, is currently on the ballot in 45 states.

But four other minor political parties also have presidential candidates who will appear on the New Mexico ballot this November.

Evan McMullin will represent the Better for America party. McMullin, a former CIA officer and chief policy adviser for the House Republican Conference, hopes to harness the “Never Trump” movement among some conservatives.

McMullin is only on the ballot in 11 states, including his home state of Utah.

The Constitution Party nominated Darrell Castle and the American Delta Party nominated “Rocky” Roque de la Fuente.

No third-party candidate for any of the state’s three congressional districts made the ballot. Each congressional district features a Democratic and Republican candidate, though the incumbents are considered heavy favorites to earn another term.

Steve Pearce of the 2nd Congressional District, which represents Southern New Mexico, is the lone Republican in New Mexico’s congressional delegation, and he is joined by Democrats Michelle Lujan Grisham in the 1st Congressional District and Ben Ray Lujan in the 3rd Congressional District.

Pearce faces Merrie Lee Soules and Republican write-in candidate Jack McGrann, Lujan Grisham faces Richard Priem and Lujan faces Michael Romero.

On the legislative side, two independents will be on the ballot.

In House District 10, incumbent Andres Romero, D-Albuquerque, will face independent Robert Schiller. In House District 54, incumbent James Townsend, R-Artesia, will face Freddie Joe Nichols III.

The full list of candidates who will appear on the ballot is available on the Secretary of State’s website.