June 12, 2017

Miera to run for lieutenant governor

Rick Miera

Former House Majority Leader Rick Miera announced Monday that he will run for lieutenant governor.

The Albuquerque Democrat is the second to announce a run for the position.

“I am running for Lt. Governor because New Mexicans deserve leaders who have the courage to make the bold decisions we need that will get our state moving again,” Miera said in a statement announcing his candidacy.

The position’s biggest responsibility is to preside over the state senate. In the event of a tie vote in the Senate, the lieutenant governor will cast a vote, something that very rarely occurs. The lieutenant governor also acts as governor when the governor is out of state, which is a holdover in the state constitution from a less-connected age.

“We live in a state that is rich in resources, culture, history and a resilient ‘can do’ spirit. I will fight for policies that support our families, our communities and hardworking individuals, and will put facts ahead of political party or ideology,” Miera said. “I know that I can bring these solutions to state government and help make it more responsive to the needs of everyday New Mexicans.”

Miera served in the state House of Representatives from 1991 to 2014.

The only other announced candidate for lieutenant governor so far is Jeff Carr, a recently retired teacher at Taos High School and longtime Democratic Party activist. Carr announced his candidacy in January.

So far, no Republican has announced their intention to run for lieutenant governor. In fact, no Republican has announced a candidacy for governor as of yet.

The deadline to announce a candidacy for statewide office is in 2018, though candidates typically announce and begin campaigning—and fundraising—well ahead of the deadline.

The lieutenant governor candidates in each party run as running mates with the gubernatorial candidates as part of the ticket in the general election, much like the vice president and presidential candidates on the national level. Unlike presidential candidates, the gubernatorial candidates do not get to choose their preferred running mate. Instead, the position is part of a separate primary election from the governor.

Lt. Gov. John Sanchez, for example, won in a three-way Republican primary in 2010, while Gov. Susana Martinez won a five-way Republican primary the same year.