Today is the GOP Primary! Here’s what you need to know before you vote — and why voting matters

Today is the 2020 Republican primary, and New Mexicans will be heading to the polls to cast their votes for the nominees who will take on the Radical Democrats in November’s General Election. If you haven’t been following the primary too closely, that’s okay — here is some info to know before you vote today!

The Candidates

All three congressional districts have multiple candidates running and depending on your location, you will have a variety of candidates to choose from. If you are unsure what your district is, check your voter registration here

In the First Congressional District in the Albuquerque metro area, millennial attorney and fresh Republican face Jared Vander Dussen faces off against perennial candidate Michelle Garcia Holmes, who previously ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor and Albuquerque mayor. Also in the race is Brett Kokinadis, a former Democrat who ran the group, “New Mexico Democrats for Democracy.” The race will test if CD-1 Republicans are ready for energetic, new blood or if they will opt for a more familiar candidate.

In the Second Congressional District race in Southern New Mexico, former state Rep. Yvette Herrell faces off against deep-pocketed millionaire lobbyist and Trump critic Claire Chase, who once called President Trump an “a**hole unworthy of the office,” but now swears she supports the 45th Commander-in-Chief. Also in the race is Las Cruces businessman Chris Mathys, a veteran and former Fresno, California city councilman. The race’s winner will advance to the General Election and face-off against one-term incumbent Democrat Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, who votes with far-left Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), 94% of the time.

In the Third Congressional District in Northern New Mexico, three Republicans face off for the nomination. Former oil and gas administrator Alexis Martinez Johnson will face small businesswoman Karen Bedonie and former Santa Fe County Commissioner Harry Montoya. The race has not been as contentious as the CD-2 race, but it has had its ups and downs.

The United States Senate race is a big one — and in recent months it has turned increasingly heated. Former college professor and Trump Administration official Dr. Gavin Clarkson faces off against pro-life leader Elisa Martinez and former television weatherman Mark Ronchetti. Clarkson and Martinez have years of conservative credentials in their respective fields, while Ronchetti has no previous Republican Party support to speak of and has never voted in a primary election. Ronchetti also has been a staunch critic of President Trump, just in 2019 claiming the President made him leave the Republican Party, calling Trump “the Orange One,” who has taken a “part of his soul” that he’s “not getting back.” Voters will decide whether they want a proven pro-Trump conservative or a fair-weather NeverTrumper.

There are not many state legislative seats with contested primaries, but two Senate seats in New Mexico’s 19th and 41st districts have Republican incumbents being challenged by state representatives vacating their House seats to make a run for the upper chamber.

Rep. Gregg Schmedes, arguably one of the most vocal conservatives in the state, is challenging incumbent Jim White for Senate District 19 in Bernalillo, Sandoval, Santa Fe, and Torrance Counties. Schmedes won his House seat in 2018 and has been outspoken on just about every issue important to conservative voters. 

Senator Jim White has been around a long time, having served in the House and the Senate. He was elected to his Senate seat in 2016. White has one of the least conservative voting records of any Republican in the state—voting for both of Democrat Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s disastrous budgets, and for the anti-business, job-killing New Mexico “Green New Deal” in 2019. 

Rep. David Gallegos is challenging incumbent Gregg Fulfer for Senate District 41 in Eddy and Lea Counties. This is actually Fulfer’s first time running for office, as he received his seat by appointment when his father-in-law, Carrol Leavell, retired after 22 years in the legislature. 

David Gallegos has been a State Representative for District 61 for 8 years. Gallegos is a somewhat soft-spoken gentleman but isn’t short on conservative spiritedness. He can usually be seen whenever there is a pro-life or 2nd Amendment rally in Santa Fe, and even organizes the concealed carry trainings for other legislators at the statehouse. 

Where do I vote and who will be on my ballot?

Voting begins at 7:00 A.M. this morning, and polls close at 7:00 P.M. this evening. You can find your polling location here. If you ordered an absentee ballot, PLEASE DO NOT DROP IT IN THE MAIL. Deliver your ballot directly to a polling location. 

If you are unaware of all the choices that will be on your ballot, you can see your sample ballot by checking your voter registration here

Why Voting in the Primary Matters

This election is a turning point for New Mexico, and the Republicans we vote for today will advance to the General Election. In simple terms, the stronger the candidates we choose in the primary are, the better their chance of winning in November. We must choose the most electable candidates who can bring conservatives together and give Democrats a run for their money in the General Election.

If we lose in the General Election to the Radical Democrats and don’t clinch a Republican majority in the New Mexico House or Senate, we will have a rough time since Democrats will no doubt gerrymander legislative seats to make them less competitive and harder for Republicans to ever win again. Since this is a census year, this will impact the candidates we choose this election. Our votes we make today will mean political life or death for our legislature — the governing body of our state and the only body that can hold an out-of-control governor accountable. 

Your vote today means a contribution to the future of our state, and will help lead us into a strong General Election. With President Trump at the top of the ticket — he needs us now more than ever to show up and vote for him and candidates who support him. It’s one of our last chances to make a difference for New Mexico.

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