Duran’s out—here’s what will happen next

Secretary of State Dianna Duran decided to do what many had been calling her to do for nearly two months: resign. This means some big, potentially unprecedented, changes are coming. Duran could be the first Secretary of State in history to leave in the middle of a term. Related Story: Dianna Duran pleaded guilty to six charges […]

Duran’s out—here’s what will happen next

Secretary of State Dianna Duran decided to do what many had been calling her to do for nearly two months: resign.
1This means some big, potentially unprecedented, changes are coming. Duran could be the first Secretary of State in history to leave in the middle of a term.

Related Story: Dianna Duran pleaded guilty to six charges as part of plea deal.

So here is what happens next, at least when it comes to the position of Secretary of State.

Currently, Deputy Secretary of State Mary Quintana is serving as active Secretary of State, but only until Gov. Susana Martinez chooses a new person for the position.

The process for doing so isn’t very clear, and the process will be closely watched following the scandal that enveloped Duran’s final weeks in office.

Former State Treasurer Robert Vigil, the last statewide official to resign while facing criminal charges, may be an example of how to proceed.

After Vigil resigned in 2005, then-Gov. Bill Richardson had to name a replacement. Richardson named a search committee of lawmakers and financial experts to give him names to choose from to fill the State Treasurer position.

Less than a week later, Richardson chose Doug Brown. Brown agreed not to run for reelection in 2006 (which was the regular election for the position).

Whoever Martinez chooses will only serve until the next general election, as per the state constitution. This would be in 2016, instead of the regular 2018 election for the position.

This person can run for election at that time.

The governor will issue a primary election proclamation which would include the Secretary of State position. Unusual in that this is off-cycle for statewide positions, but other than that it would be business as usual.

New Mexico Political Report previously looked at rumored names for a Duran replacement. State Rep. Kelly Fajardo of Belen, Los Alamos County Clerk Sharon Stover, Valencia County Clerk Peggy Carabajal and former Albuquerque City Clerk Amy Bailey could all be names Gov. Susana Martinez would choose. Another name that has popped up is former Bureau of Elections Director Bobbi Shearer.

As for who Democrats will put forward in 2016, the odds-on favorite is Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver. The timing would work out; Toulouse Oliver has experience from a statewide campaign and she cannot run for another term as county clerk.

Toulouse Oliver said Friday afternoon that she is looking into a run.

“Since last night’s announcement many constituents, friends and supporters have asked if I will run for this office,” Toulouse Oliver wrote in an email to supporters. “I am actively considering a run, and will make any decision based on how best I can continue to serve the people of New Mexico.”

She is also well-liked among members of the Democratic Party of New Mexico.

Getting a new person to run the office will be important. The Secretary of State works closely with county clerks to run elections and 2016 is a year with the president on the ballot, which means more attention, more voters and more potential problems.

Update: Added that Toulouse Oliver is considering another run.

We're ad free

That means that we rely on support from readers like you. Help us keep reporting on the most important New Mexico Stories by donating today.

Related

Senators throw support to embattled Ivey-Soto

Senators throw support to embattled Ivey-Soto

By Justin Horwath, New Mexico In Dept Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto is running for a fourth term despite the state Democratic Party’s decision to censure…
AG announces legislative priorities for upcoming special session

AG announces legislative priorities for upcoming special session

Attorney General Raúl Torrez announced on Thursday his legislative priorities for July’s special legislative session, including the creation of a crime victim’s unit to…
Correa Hemphill to step down from legislature

Correa Hemphill to step down from legislature

State Sen. Siah Correa Hemphill, a Democrat from Silver City, won’t seek reelection in the general election in November, leaving SD 28, a swing…
Environmental historian reflects on the legacies of Aldo Leopold and the Gila Wilderness

Environmental historian reflects on the legacies of Aldo Leopold and the Gila Wilderness

One hundred years ago, conservationist Aldo Leopold proposed designating 500,000 acres of land in the Gila National Forest as an area where no roads…

A rare NM lizard is now listed as endangered

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added the dunes sagebrush lizard to the list of endangered species on Friday and is expected to designate…
Interior announces $520 million of funding for water projects

Interior announces $520 million of funding for water projects

The U.S. Department of Interior announced $520 million in funding for 57 projects throughout the United States to improve water infrastructure and drought resiliency…
Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican The main things that bring Brayan Chavez to school every day: Seeing, talking to and engaging with…
Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican Brittany Behenna Griffith has a laundry list of adjectives to describe the ideal special education teacher:…
Lawmakers must find consensus on competing education spending plans

Lawmakers must find consensus on competing education spending plans

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican A challenging task awaits New Mexico lawmakers in the next 30 days: Reconciling three very different…
Heinrich questions FDA leadership on baby formula safety, mifepristone

Heinrich questions FDA leadership on baby formula safety, mifepristone

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf answered questions about the safety of human milk formula and mifepristone on Wednesday. Sen. Martin…
Health workers fear it’s profits before protection as CDC revisits airborne transmission

Health workers fear it’s profits before protection as CDC revisits airborne transmission

Amy Maxmen, KFF Health News Four years after hospitals in New York City overflowed with covid-19 patients, emergency physician Sonya Stokes remains shaken by…
Lujan Grisham, Biden admin announce $10 million in federal funds for tribes, pueblos

Lujan Grisham, Biden admin announce $10 million in federal funds for tribes, pueblos

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Friday $10 million in funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act was awarded to six tribal nations and…
UNM approves land acquisition for Las Cruces reproductive health center

UNM approves land acquisition for Las Cruces reproductive health center

Thursday, the University of New Mexico Board of Regents approved a land acquisition for a full-spectrum reproductive healthcare center, that will include abortion care,…
Heinrich questions FDA leadership on baby formula safety, mifepristone

Heinrich questions FDA leadership on baby formula safety, mifepristone

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf answered questions about the safety of human milk formula and mifepristone on Wednesday. Sen. Martin…
Correa Hemphill to step down from legislature

Correa Hemphill to step down from legislature

State Sen. Siah Correa Hemphill, a Democrat from Silver City, won’t seek reelection in the general election in November, leaving SD 28, a swing…
Study: Marriage equality has had a positive impact

Study: Marriage equality has had a positive impact

A recent study found that in the 20 years since Massachusetts became the first state in the U.S. to grant same-sex marriage licenses, same-sex…
UNM approves land acquisition for Las Cruces reproductive health center

UNM approves land acquisition for Las Cruces reproductive health center

Thursday, the University of New Mexico Board of Regents approved a land acquisition for a full-spectrum reproductive healthcare center, that will include abortion care,…
Heinrich questions FDA leadership on baby formula safety, mifepristone

Heinrich questions FDA leadership on baby formula safety, mifepristone

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf answered questions about the safety of human milk formula and mifepristone on Wednesday. Sen. Martin…
Senators throw support to embattled Ivey-Soto

Senators throw support to embattled Ivey-Soto

By Justin Horwath, New Mexico In Dept Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto is running for a fourth term despite the state Democratic Party’s decision to censure…
Correa Hemphill to step down from legislature

Correa Hemphill to step down from legislature

State Sen. Siah Correa Hemphill, a Democrat from Silver City, won’t seek reelection in the general election in November, leaving SD 28, a swing…
Progressives going after incumbents in hot Democratic primaries

Progressives going after incumbents in hot Democratic primaries

By Justin Horwath, NM In Depth It’s a safe bet Democrats will barrel into 2025 with their supremacy intact at the New Mexico Legislature.…
Environmental historian reflects on the legacies of Aldo Leopold and the Gila Wilderness

Environmental historian reflects on the legacies of Aldo Leopold and the Gila Wilderness

One hundred years ago, conservationist Aldo Leopold proposed designating 500,000 acres of land in the Gila National Forest as an area where no roads…
Senators throw support to embattled Ivey-Soto

Senators throw support to embattled Ivey-Soto

By Justin Horwath, New Mexico In Dept Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto is running for a fourth term despite the state Democratic Party’s decision to censure…
Study: Marriage equality has had a positive impact

Study: Marriage equality has had a positive impact

A recent study found that in the 20 years since Massachusetts became the first state in the U.S. to grant same-sex marriage licenses, same-sex…

GET INVOLVED

© 2023 New Mexico Political Report