What you need to know before you vote Tuesday

On Tuesday, New Mexicans will decide many key races in New Mexico to determine the trajectory of the state by selecting who will appear on the General Election ballot.

These races include the fight for the governorship, where five Republicans face off to challenge Democrat scandal-ridden alleged serial groper Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. These include Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block of Rio Rancho, state Rep. Rebecca Dow of Truth or Consequences, former television weatherman Mark Ronchetti of Albuquerque, former Mayor of Cuba Ethel Maharg of Albuquerque, and financial advisor Greg Zanetti of Albuquerque. On the Libertarian ticket, Karen Bedonie faces off against write-in candidate Ginger Grider Tuesday. 

There are multiple moderate Democrats facing off against far-left incumbents in the state House of Representatives, while some Democrats are facing off against primary challenges to the left. The most visible of these races is between one-term state Rep. Roger Montoya of Velarde who is being challenged by former State Rep. Joseph Sanchez, a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment Democrat. Montoya voted for abortion up to birth and backed most of the Democrats’ anti-gun measures.

On the Republican side, four moderate incumbents face off against conservative Republican challengers. State Rep. Larry Scott of Hobbs faces off against Elaine Sena Cortez, Randall Pettigrew of Lovington goes up against Rebecca Jill Jones, Rachel Black of Alamogordo faces Piñon Post editor and founder John Block, and  Jane Powdrell-Culbert of Corrales faces off against Frida Susana Vasquez. All of these challengers have focused their campaigns on the lack of representation from the current incumbents in the Legislature, as well as bad votes taken by these incumbents.

These include voting for the Democrats’ far-left 2022 budget, which Black and Powdrell-Culbert voted for. Also, Pettigrew voted for an anti-gun bill in a committee hearing, despite having the opportunity to kill the bad bill with one  Democrat who voted against the measure. 

All statewide elected state-level offices are up for grabs, including the lieutenant governorship, where Republicans Ant Thornton and Peggy Muller-Aragón face off. Two Democrats, Heather Benavidez and Laura Montoya face off for state treasurer, a seat currently held by term-limited Treasurer Tim Eichenberg. The winner of that contest faces Republican Harry Montoya. In the race for attorney general, Democrat State Auditor Brian Colón, who has the backing of retiring Attorney General Hector Balderas, is running against Albuquerque-area District Attorney Raúl Torrez, who has the backing of George Soros and Sen. Martin Heinrich. The winner of that primary contest faces Republican Jeremy Gay in November.

For state auditor, Democrat Public Regulation Commissioner Joseph Maestas faces former ombudsman under the Lujan Grisham regime and failed Albuquerque City Council candidate Zackary Quintero.

Totals as of Saturday from the Secretary of State’s Office show that Democrats have cast 59,718 votes early, Republicans trail slightly with 44,986 votes cast so far, and Libertarians casting 409 votes. Of those who voted early in person, Democrats made up 47,867, while Republicans had 39,907, and Libertarians had 368. Democrats lead in absentee ballots, with 11,851, Republicans with 5,079, and Libertarians with 41. 

To find your closes polling locations and to see your sample ballot, click here on the Secretary of State’s website.

In this primary election, independent (declined to state) voters are permitted to vote in either the Republican or Democrat primaries, so those who have not selected a party affiliation but are registered to vote can participate in either of the primary elections.

For all voting locations in your area, you can search the closest one here. If you have any questions before the June 7 primary, contact your local county clerk’s office or the Secretary of State’s Office, which can be reached here: (505) 827-3600. 

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