February 4, 2020

Filing day for federal candidates

Dozens of candidates filed to run for their parties’ nominations in statewide judicial and federal races on Tuesday.

Candidates who make the official ballot will go in front of voters on June 2. The winners of those primaries will be in the general election on Nov. 3.

The state will hold pre-primary conventions in March; at those conventions, candidates who receive a certain amount of support from party members at the convention will automatically make the primary ballot. Those who do not will need to collect extra signatures to qualify for the primary ballot.

Eight candidates filed to run for U.S. Senate, six Republicans, one Democrat and one Libertarian. 

The seat is open because Sen. Tom Udall, a Democrat, decided not to run for a third term.

Democrat Ben Ray Luján, a current U.S. House member, has led all candidates in fundraising throughout the campaign and has over $2 million cash-on-hand.

The Republicans who filed are, in order of when they filed on Tuesday:

  • Anti-abortion activist Elisa Martinez
  • Former Donald Trump administration official Gavin Clarkson
  • Former TV meteorologist Mark Ronchetti
  • Businessman Richard Montoya
  • Albuquerque contractor Mick Rich
  • Gun range owner Louie Sanchez

Libertarian Bob Walsh, a retired applied mathematician who lives in Santa Fe, also filed to run.

1st Congressional District

Incumbent Deb Haaland is the lone Democrat to file to run for the Albuquerque-area seat. Haaland won election in 2018 in the seat, once a Republican mainstay, that has shifted to Democrats in recent years.

Meanwhile, three Republicans are looking to retake the seat for the first time since 2009. Businessman Brett Kokinadis, attorney Jared Vander Dussen and former Republican Lt. Gov. nominee Michelle Garcia Holmes each filed to run on Tuesday.

2nd Congressional District

The federal race that will likely get the most attention is the southern New Mexico congressional district, won by Democrats in 2018 for the first time in a decade.

Xochitl Torres Small, the incumbent Democrat, is the lone Democrat to file for the seat. Torres Small narrowly won the race in 2018 during the nationwide Democratic wave. Republicans are targeting the seat and have already spent money on ads in an attempt to unseat the freshman.

Three Republicans filed to run in the district: Oil company lobbyist Claire Chase, businessman Chris Mathys and former State Rep. Yvette Herrell, the 2018 Republican nominee for the seat.. 

3rd Congressional District

The northern New Mexico seat is an open seat, since Luján opted to run for Senate instead of a seventh term.

Because there is no incumbent running, a dozen people filed to run for the seat, seven Democrats and five Republicans.


  • Former CIA officer Valerie Plame
  • Former Deputy Secretary of State John Blair
  • State Rep. Joseph Sanchez
  • Environmental attorney Kyle Tisdel
  • Attorney Teresa Leger Fernandez
  • 1st Judicial District Attorney Marco Serna


  • Real estate agent Anise Golden-Morper
  • Businesswoman Karen Bedonie
  • Former Santa Fe County Commissioner Harry Montoya
  • Engineering consultant Alexis Johnson
  • Portales’ Audra Lee Brown

Judicial races

The state will also see races for the state supreme court and court of appeals.

Democrat Shannon Bacon will face Republican Ned Fuller in the race for one state supreme court seat. 

Democrat David Thomson will face Republican Kerry Morris in the other race for a state supreme court seat.

Six candidates are also seeking two positions on the state Court of Appeals

Major party candidates for other offices, including all state House and Senate seats and those running for county positions, will file on March 10. 

Most statewide positions, including governor, are not up for election this year.