November 4, 2020

NM Dems holds House majority

The New Mexico State Capitol, or Roundhouse Wikicommons.

While the official results are still not in, the New Mexico House races were mostly a win for Democrats. 

About three dozen of the contested races Tuesday showed wins for Democrats, although some of them were extremely close and not all ballots were counted by the end of the night. But with the House already having a sizable majority of Democratic members, the party largely maintained its majority.

Here are some notable races from election night, with all numbers as of 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday.

House District 12

Brittney Barreras will be the first candidate to be elected without being tied to a political party. According to the Bernalillo County Clerk’s count, Barreras received about 70 percent of the vote compared to her write-in opponent, Democratic Rep. Art De La Cruz. 

While De La Cruz is the incumbent, he was only recently appointed to the spot after former state Representative Patricio Ruiloba resigned. Ruiloba failed to maintain his spot on the ballot earlier this year, leaving no candidate in the race. 

House District 15

Rep. Dayan Hochman-Vigil, D-Albuquerque, was able to maintain her spot in HD 15, which is somewhat of a swing district. Hochman Vigil originally won against Republican Brad Winter in 2018. The seat has gone back and forth between political parties since 2012. Hochman-Vigil won about 55 percent of the vote in a three way race against a Republican and Libertarian candidate. 

House District 20

If the unofficial results hold up, HD 20 will see it’s second Democratic representative in at least eight years. 

Late Tuesday night numbers showed Democrat Meredith Dixon ahead of Republican Michael Hendricks by more than 10 points. 

The incumbent, Rep. Abbas Akhil, D-Albuquerque decided not to run for a second term. Akhil won the seat in a race against Republican Jim Dines in 2018. 

House District 22 

By the end of Tuesday night, Republican Stefani Lord held a two point lead against Democrat Jessica Velasquez. The incumbent, Republican Rep. Gregg Schmedes, decided not to run for reelection in order to run for state Senate. Velasquez ran against Schmedes in another tight race. The seat has historically been held by Republicans, but given how close the 2018 race was, this one was watched closely. 

House District 23

Even though Rep. Daymon Ely, D-Albuquerque, has held the seat since 2016, he only narrowly won that year against the long-time Republcian incumbent Paul Pacheco. Since then, the district has been a target of state Republicans. Ely had a ten point lead over Republican Ellis McMath on Tuesday.

House District 27

House District 27 was held for years by the late Lorenzo Larrañaga until he resigned and ended his campaign for reelection in 2018. Larrañaga died before Election Day that year.. Republicans found a replacement to run in the seat, but ultimately Democrat William Pratt won the election. But about a year later, Pratt also died. He was replaced by Rep. Marian Matthews, D-Albuquerque. 

So, it’s no surprise Republicans decided to target the seat as a possible flip in their favor. As of Tuesday night, Matthews held a two point lead over Republican Robert Godshall. A third, independent write-in candidate, Jason Barker received seven votes as of Tuesday night. 

House District 31

Rep. Bill Rehm, R-Albuquerque is the only Republican House candidate in Albuquerque to keep his seat through the two most recent elections with widespread wins from Democrats. He handedly won again on Tuesday night by nearly ten points. 

House District 32

Rep. Candie Sweetser, D-Deming, ended election night with an eight-point lead against Republican Scott Chandler. Sweetser is considered a moderate Democrat, but her district generally votes for conservative candidates in federal races. Chandler has a rocky past in both his professional and political life. He’s publicly feuded with former Republican Governor Susana Martinez and blamed her influence for a raid on his ranch for troubled youth. 

House District 39

Rep. Rodolpho Martinez, D- Bayard, is no stranger to the HD 39. He held the seat for years until being ousted in 2014 as part of a larger flip of the House to Republicans. But he won the seat again in 2016. On Tuesday night he again lost the seat, this time to Republican Luis Terrazas. 

House District 53

House District 53 has essentially flipped back and forth between Rep. Willie Madrid, D-Chaparral, and Republican Ricky Little. Little leads by just seven votes and the Secretary of State’s office has flagged it for a possible automatic recount. 

House District 68

Rep. Karen Bash, D-Albuquerque ended Tuesday night with about a four point lead over her opponent, Republican Giovanni Coppola. 

Up until recently, the district was held by Republican Monica Youngblood. In 2018, Youngblood was convicted of drunk driving, but persisted with her reelection campaign. Bash easily won that election with a 16 point lead.