June 7, 2022

What to watch for in today’s primary elections

Voters, at least those who have not voted already, will decide which candidates will take part in November’s general election today. 

State races

The marquee race is on the Republican side, where five Republicans vie for the party’s nomination for governor. The winner will face incumbent Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham in November, who is unopposed in the Democratic primary. Two Libertarians, one of which is a write-in candidate, are also vying for their party’s nomination.

Two public polls released in May show that former weatherman and 2020 Republican U.S. Senate nominee Mark Ronchetti with a healthy lead over his opponents. State Rep. Rebecca Dow, Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block, retired National Guard Brigadier General Greg Zanetti and anti-abortion activist Ethel Maharg are the other candidates seeking the position.

On the Libertarian side, businesswoman Karen Bedonie is the only name that will appear on the ballot, while former Libertarian Secretary of State nominee Ginger Grider is a write-in candidate.

Another high profile race is for the open Attorney General race.

State Auditor Brian Colón faces Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez in the race to replace incumbent Hector Balderas, who cannot run for a third consecutive term. The winner will face Republican Jeremy Gay, who is running unopposed. There is no Libertarian candidate.

Another contested race is the Democratic primary for State Treasurer. The race between Sandoval County Treasurer Laura Montoya and current State Treasurer Chief of Staff Heather Benavidez has been one of the more contentious primaries, with term-limited Treasurer Tim Eichenberg weighing in and ethics complaints flying in all directions. The winner will face unopposed candidate Harry Montoya.

Two Democratic candidates will vie for the Democratic nomination for State Auditor, Zackary Quintero of Albuquerque and Joseph Maestas of Santa Fe. No Republican filed for the position, while Robert Jason Vallancourt is a write-in candidate for the Libertarian Party.

U.S. Representative

While the three incumbents do not face any opponents in the primary, the redrawn lines because of redistricting have led to crowded fields in hopes of taking down the current office holders in November.

In the 1st Congressional District, incumbent Melanie Stansbury will face either gun range owner Louie Sanchez or former Albuquerque Police Department officer Michelle Garcia Holmes, both Republicans.

Yvette Herrell is the lone Republican in the state’s congressional delegation and will face either former Las Cruces City Councilor Gabe Vasquez or physician Darshan Patel, both Democrats, in the newly-drawn 2nd Congressional District.

3rd Congressional District incumbent Democrat Tereasa Leger Fernandez will face either Republican Alexis Martinez Johnson.

Correction: This story originally said Jerald Steve McFall was a candidate for the 3rd Congressional District Republican primary. He did not make the ballot.