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A look at contested races on primary election ballott


Doña Ana County Democrats will have five county races, one U.S. congressional district race and three statewide races to vote in for the June 7 primary election, while Republicans will have two statewide and one county race to vote in. Libertarians also have a contested race for governor.

Many state and local races have only a single candidate in each primary, and some have only Democrats running, without Republican or Libertarian candidates on the ballot.

Contested races for Democrats are:

  • Attorney general (two candidates): Current state Auditor Brian Colon vs. Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torres. Both are from Albuquerque. Visit https://colonfornm.com/ and www.raultorrez.com. Incumbent Attorney General Hector Balderas, a Democrat, is term limited.
  • State treasurer (two): Former Sandoval County Treasurer Laura Montoya of Rio Rancho vs. Heather R. Benavidez of Albuquerque, chief of staff for current state Treasurer Tim Eichenberg. Eichenberg, a Democrat, is term limited. Visit www.lauramontoya4nm.com and https://heatherfornm.com/.
  • State auditor (two): New Mexico State University graduate and former state ombudsman for long-term care Zachary A. Quintero of Albuquerque vs. state Public Regulatory Commission member and former Santa Fe city councilor Joseph M. Maestas of Santa Fe. Incumbent Brian Colon is running for attorney general. Visit www.zqfornm.com and www.maestas4nm.com.
  • U.S. House of Representatives, New Mexico District 2 (two): Gabriel Vasquez, former city councilor, of Las Cruces vs. Darshan Patel, a medical doctor in Lovington. The winner will face incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell of Alamogordo in November. Visit https://gabeforcongress.com/ and https://patelfornm.com/.
  • Third Judicial District Court Judge, Division 2 (two): Incumbent Judge Jessica Streeter of Las Cruces vs. Robert Lara, of Santa Teresa, who is Third Judicial District Court attorney associate. Streeter was appointed to the judgeship by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in April. The judgeship became vacant last December with the retirement of Judge Marci Beyer. The winner has no Republican opponent in November. Visit www.jessicastreeter.com and https://robertlara4judge.com/.
  • Doña Ana County Commission, District 1 (three): Incumbent Commissioner Lynn Ellins, who is also a former Doña Ana County clerk; former Doña Ana County Democratic Party Chair and restaurant owner Christopher Schaljo-Hernandez; and former county assessor Emma Johnson Ortiz. All three are from Las Cruces. There is no Republican on the ballot. Visit www.donaanacounty.org/commissioners/district-1, www.facebook.com/CSH4DACC and you can find Ortiz at www.facebook.com too.
  • County sheriff (two): Incumbent Sheriff Kim Stewart vs. retired New Mexico State Police Capt. James Frietze. Visit www.facebook.com/Stewart4Sheriff and www.donaanasheriff.com.
  • County assessor (three): Retired Doña Ana County geographic information system analyst supervisor and independent contractor Ruben Reyes, business owner and former mayoral and county treasurer candidate Gina Ortega and Daniel R. Sambrano, who has worked in the assessor’s office since 2003. Reyes and Ortega are from Las Cruces. Sambrano is from Doña Ana. Incumbent Democrat Leticia Duarte-Benavidez did not file for re-election. The winner has no Republican opponent in November.
  • County probate judge (two): Doña Ana County probate court assistant Norma L. Torres Roberts vs. Las Cruces Police Department Victim’s Assistance Program Coordinator Judith Ann Baca. Both candidates are from Las Cruces. The winner has no Republican opponent in November.

To find your sample ballot, which will show which county commission district you live in, visit www.sos.state.nm.us/voting-and-elections/voter-information-portal. Under “Find My Registration & Election Information,” click on “My Sample Ballot.”

Contested races for Republicans are

  • Governor (Five): Republican candidates vying for the right to oppose incumbent Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham are: state Rep. Rebecca Dow of Truth or Consequences; former Bernalillo County Republican Party Chair and retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Greg Zanetti; 2020 New Mexico U.S. Senate candidate and former television weatherman Mark Ronchetti; Sandoval County Commissioner and retired U.S. Air Force Col. Jay Block; and New Mexico Right to Life Executive Director Ethel R. Maharg, who is an author, former small business owner and former mayor of Cuba, New Mexico. Zanetti, Ronchetti and Maharg are from Albuquerque. Block is from Rio Rancho. Visit https://dowfornm.com/, https://markronchetti.com/, https://zanettiforgovernor.com/, https://blockfornewmexico.com/ and www.ethel4gov.com.
  • Lieutenant Governor (two): Anthony “Ant” L. Thornton, Ph.D., retired deputy to the vice president of defense systems and assessments at Sandia National Laboratories vs. retired teacher and Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education member Peggy L. Muller-Aragon, both of Albuquerque. Visit www.thenextlg.com and www.peggyfornm.com. The winner will run on the same ticket with the GOP governor nominee.
  • County sheriff (two): Former U.S. marshal and Las Cruces police officer Byron Hollister of Las Cruces vs. former El Paso County Sheriff’s deputy, former Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department reserve deputy and security contractor Omar Chavez of Santa Teresa. Visit www.hollister4sheriff.com and www.chavez4sheriff.com.

The only contested race for Libertarians is

Governor (two): Karen Bedonie of Tòdiildò, New Mexico and Ginger Grider (write-in candidate) of Portales. Visit www.bedonietough.com and www.facebook.com/ginger.grider.1.