New Mexico lawmakers prepare for elections

By David Arkin

Many eastern New Mexico lawmakers described this year’s 30-day Legislative session as the worst and most difficult of their political careers.
But the challenging session that ended a month ago hasn’t kept any of them from running for office again.
Every eastern New Mexico lawmaker in the House and Senate is seeking re-election. The state’s primary will be held on June 1 and the general election is set for Nov. 2.
All lawmakers seeking office must file papers on Tuesday. Because the majority of candidates’ districts include more than one county, they have to file in Santa Fe. Rep. Anna Crook, R-Clovis, is the only candidate in the area that will be able to file in her hometown.
There’s a variety of other statewide positions on the ballot, including:
• U.S. representative, three positions (District 1, 2, 3).
• New Mexico Justice of the Supreme Court, two positions.
• Judge of the Court of Appeals, two positions.
• Public Education Commission, five positions (Districts 1, 4, 8, 9, 10).
• Public Regulation Commission, two positions (Districts 1, 3).
Election officials in Curry County said they haven’t heard much talk about the upcoming election.
“We haven’t had a lot of inquiries,” said Coni Jo Lyman, chief deputy clerk with the Curry County clerk’s office.
Lyman didn’t know of anyone who was planning to run against incumbents in eastern New Mexico for political offices. However, the Clovis office only handles one of those seats — District 64, which Crook currently holds.
Lyman did confirm that Dennis Roch, who is a teacher in the Texico School District, plans to go up against incumbent Scott Barthel of Hobbs for a seat on the Public Education Commission, which was formerly the State Board of Education.
Seven eastern New Mexico seats are up for grabs in the Roundhouse this year. Here is a look at who currently holds those seats:
House
• District 63 (De Baca, Curry, Guadalupe and Roosevelt counties): Rep. Jose Campos, D-Santa Rosa. He is seeking his second term.
“I think great things were accomplished this year and I see good things happening in the years to come,” he said.
• District 64 (Curry County): Crook. She will be seeking her sixth term.
“I work for the best people in the state of New Mexico,” she said.
• District 66 (Chaves, Eddy, Lea and Roosevelt counties): Rep. Earlene Roberts, R-Lovington. She will be seeking her ninth term.
“They need my experience up there,” she said.
• District 67 (Curry, Hardin, Quay, Roosevelt, San Miguel and Union counties): Rep. Brian Moore, R-Clayton. He is seeking his third term.
“It’s difficult for the community to get representation when leadership is changing all of the time,” he said.

Senate
• District 7 (Colfax, San Miguel, Quay and Union counties): Sen. Clint Harden, R-Clovis. He is seeking his first full term.
“I’m absolutely ready to file my papers and serve the people,” he said.
• District 27 (Roosevelt, Chaves, Curry and Roosevelt counties): Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales. Ingle is seeking his sixth term.
“I enjoy being a senator from this district,” he said.
• District 42 (Curry, Lea and Roosevelt counties): Sen. Gay Kernan, R-Hobbs. She is seeking her second term.
“I feel like I have not only the experience, but the ability as an educator and small business person to represent my district,” she said.
Those seeking other statewide positions in the June primary had to file on Feb. 10. Here is a look at who is running in those races.

U.S. Representatives
District 1: Miles Nelson, D-Sandia Park; Eli Chavez, D-Albuquerque; Richard Romero, D-Albuquerque; Abraham Gutmann, Green-Albuquerque; Jeremy Brown, Green-Tijeras; Heather Wilson, R-Albuquerque, incumbent.
District 2: Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces; Gary King, D-Carlsbad; Rep. Steve Pearce, R-Hobbs, incumbent.
District 3: Rep. Tom Udall, D-Santa Fe; Gregory Tucker, R-Farmington.

Justice of the Supreme Court
Edward Chavez, D-Santa Fe; Ned Fuller, R-Albuquerque.

Justice of the Supreme Court (retention, general election)
Richard Bosson, D-Santa Fe.

Judge of the Court of Appeals
Michael Vigil, D-Santa Fe; Paul Barber, R-Albuquerque.

Judge of the Court of Appeals (retention,
general election)

Roderick Kennedy, R-Santa Fe.

Political points of interest
• Tuesday: Filing day for legislative, district judge, magistrate judge, district attorney, public regulation commission, public education commission and all county offices. Candidates must file by 5 p.m.
• April 2: Last day to file for candidates who did not receive pre-primary designation.
• April 6: Last day for new political parties to file their rules, regulations and petition.
• April 6: Last day for candidates to withdraw from primary election.
• May 4: Absentee voting begins.
• May 4: Voter registration closes at 5 p.m.
• May 15: Early in-person voting begins.
• May 29: In-person and absentee voting ends.
• June 1: Primary Election Day, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.