March 19, 2018

Challenge of Aubrey Dunn candidacy dismissed

Joe Gratz


A state district judge dismissed the legal challenge of State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn’s candidacy for U.S. Senate.

The challenger, Bernalillo County voter Steve Gendorn, filed a “voluntary dismissal” in Santa Fe district court, asking the judge to cancel the upcoming scheduled hearing, with no explanation why.

Gendorn originally filed the suit on February 20—four days after the deadline to challenge candidacies—alleging that Dunn’s qualifying petition signatures were invalid because he failed to list a proper address on his petition forms. The suit also alleged that a number of petition signatures were from voters who were either not registered as Libertarian or not registered voters at all.

The challenge was not filed by Dunn’s Republican opponent Mick Rich, but Dunn implied to NM Political Report that Rich had something to do with it.

“Mick Rich is wasting the court’s time with an actual political stunt and wasting New Mexican’s time with his non-starter candidacy,” Dunn said.

Contention between Rich and Dunn has been building since Rich criticized Dunn’s attempt to block U.S. Border Patrol agents from a section of the U.S.-Mexico border. Rich called it a “political stunt” by Dunn.

During recent campaign stops, Rich focused on his Democratic opponent U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich and told NM Political Report he didn’t consider Dunn an opponent.

In response to the court challenge being withdrawn, Rich maintained that his focus is removing Heinrich from office.

“We look forward to working tirelessly to become the next U.S. Senator from New Mexico and replace career politician Martin Heinrich”

Rich, Dunn and Heinrich are all unopposed in their respective parties’ primaries this June.