June 2, 2020

Leger Fernandez wins CD3 Democratic primary



Democrat Teresa Leger Fernandez won the seven-way Democratic primary on Tuesday. 

As of 2 a.m., Leger Fernandez had 41.89 percent of the vote, while her closest competitor, former CIA officer Valerie Plame, had 22.95 percent of the vote. 

The Associated Press projected Leger Fernandez as the winner shortly before 11 p.m.

“This is a win for communities, families and workers all across our district, and I am grateful for the trust that voters have placed in our campaign’s vision for Northern New Mexico. Even in a time when we must continue to stay physically distant and so much tries to divide us, this campaign has always been about interconnectedness and coming together,” Leger Fernandez said in a statement.

Related: Herrell wins GOP primary, will face Torres Small again for CD2 seat in general election

Leger Fernandez is an attorney and activist from Santa Fe who emphasized her roots in the district during her campaign. Fernandez received the support of a number of national organizations, including EMILY’s List and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

She was often overshadowed on a national scale by Plame, whose ads showcasing her driving skills helped get her national attention and fundraising support.

Leger Fernandez received criticism for support from outside money groups that do not have to report their donors. She denounced them, including an ad that accused Plame of being a racist that used Nazi imagery.

Plame said she would address the media on Wednesday morning, but thanked her supporters in an email, in which she pledged her support for Leger Fernandez.

“We are all Democrats, we all share similar values, and we understand that President Trump won’t give us the necessary resources to rebuild our economy and our health if we don’t fight for it with fierce compassion,” she said.

The only other Democrat with over ten percentage points was State Rep. Joseph Sanchez, with 13.58 percent.

Related: Ronchetti wins Republican primary for U.S. Senate

The Republican race in the district remained close, with Alexis Johnson leading Harry Montoya by 2.1 percentage points as of 2 a.a.

The 3rd Congressional District is a Democratic stronghold, and Leger Fernandez will be a heavy favorite to replace Ben Ray Luján, who has represented the district since 2009 but left this year to run for U.S. Senate. Luján was unopposed in that primary and will face former TV meteorologist Mark Ronchetti, a Republican, and Libertarian candidate Bob Walsh in the general election.

1st Congressional District

Incumbent Democrat Deb Haaland had no competition and will seek a second term in the district that has become a Democratic mainstay.

She will face former chief of staff for the state Attorney General and former Albuquerque Police Department officer Michelle Garcia Holmes. Holmes won in a three-way primary, defeating attorney Jared Vander Dussen and businessman Brett Kokinadis. 

The district was once a Republican stronghold, but in recent years has become a safe Demcoratic district.

Update: Changed numbers to as of 2:00 a.m.