March 17, 2021

Special election to fill CD1 vacancy set for June 1

The special election to fill the now-vacant 1st Congressional District will take place on June 1.

Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver announced the date and said she would formally issue the special election proclamation on Thursday.

The seat, which is centered in the Albuquerque area, is now vacant because Deb Haaland resigned earlier this week to become U.S. Secretary of the Interior under President Joe Biden.

“Deb Haaland’s historic confirmation as the nation’s first Native American cabinet secretary is a proud moment for all New Mexicans, but it also kicks off another important election cycle of which every eligible voter in Congressional District 1 should be aware,” Toulouse Oliver said in a statement issued Wednesday. “Now that Election Day is set, I encourage anyone interested in seeking the office to familiarize themselves with the laws and procedures outlined in the Election Code. I also encourage every eligible voter in CD1 to register to vote or update your voter registration, which can be done easily at nmvote.org.”

While most of the population is in Bernalillo County, it also includes all of Torrance County and small portions of Sandoval, Santa Fe and Valencia counties. County clerks are largely responsible for the administration of elections in New Mexico.

The candidates for major parties (Democratic, Libertarian and Republican) will be chosen according to the rules put forth by the parties, which largely means parties’ central committees will choose their candidates. 

Many potential candidates have declared their intent to seek the congressional seat, particularly among Democrats and Republicans. The parties must declare which candidate they will choose by 56 days ahead of the special election date.

An effort to mandate that candidates for a special election are chosen through a primary stalled during this year’s legislative session, and likely would not be able to be put in place in time for this year’s special election.