U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce broke his silence on Donald Trump at a debate against his congressional opponent Tuesday night. Pearce hadn’t addressed the controversial 2005 video, released last week, in which Trump bragged to then-Access Hollywood host Billy Bush about kissing women without permission and grabbing them by their genitalia. Pearce called the Trump comments “horrid” and “indefensible,” per the Albuquerque Journal, but still said he would support the Republican nominee over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. NMPolitics.net reported Pearce said he couldn’t support Clinton becuase of the attacks on U.S. govenrment facilities in Benghazi, Lybia. “I think that the comments were horrid.
The election ballots for November are set, and New Mexicans will have a few options when it comes to the presidential race. The ballots became final Tuesday at 5 p.m., giving time to print ballots and send to overseas and military voters starting this weekend. Secretary of State Chief of Staff Ken Ortiz told NM Political Report the ballots are final, barring a court stay or another order. At this point, that seems unlikely. On the presidential ticket, six smaller political parties qualified for the ballot alongside Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Earlier this week, candidates for federal office and for a rare presidential-year Secretary of State race officially threw their hats in the ring for the positions. Supreme Court and Court of Appeals candidates also announced their intentions to run. The most high profile race will be Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver against State Rep. Nora Espinoza, R-Roswell, for Secretary of State. The statewide position is normally contested in non-presidential years, but because of the resignation by Dianna Duran amid scandal, and eventual conviction, voters will decide on the position this year. Toulouse Oliver ran for the position and lost to Duran in 2014.
Merrie Lee Soules confirmed to NM Political Report that she is running for Congress in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District. The district is represented by Steve Pearce, and is the most conservative of New Mexico’s three congressional districts. Soules is a Democrat who previously ran for a seat on the Public Regulation Commission. “I am a candidate for congressional district two here in Southern New Mexico,” Soules said in a short phone interview. She said she is running “because it’s important.”