November 8, 2022

Democrats win state treasurer, auditor and commissioner of public lands

A "Vote Here" sign at the Otero County Fairgrounds in Alamogordo.

Nicole Maxwell

A "Vote Here" sign at the Otero County Fairgrounds in Alamogordo.

Democrats swept the down-ballot statewide races, with candidates winning treasurer, auditor and commissioner of public lands.

The closest race was for state treasurer, with Democratic candidate Laura Montoya thanking supporters and giving a short victory speech shortly after 9:30 p.m.

As of 10 p.m., unofficial results showed her leading with 53 percent of the votes. Montoya was running against Republican Harry Montoya, who is a former Democrat, in the open race for state treasurer.

The most distance was in the race for state auditor, which was also an open race without an incumbent.

The Republican Party did not nominate a candidate, but that didn’t mean Democratic nominee Joseph Maestas could sail to victory without any opposition. Libertarian candidate Travis Sanchez garnered 38 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results as of 10 p.m.

In the race for commissioner of public lands, incumbent Democrat Stephanie Garcia Richard led with 55 percent of the votes as of 10 p.m. Republican Jefferson Byrd had 45 percent of the votes.

There was also a write-in candidate, Larry Marker. Write-in candidate results will not be available until the county clerks can determine if people voted for a valid write-in candidate..

Maestas and Byrd both currently serve on the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, which will become an appointed body rather than an elected body starting next year.