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Vasquez wins race for Congress; Democrats sweep county, state races


Former Las Cruces City Councilor Gabriel Vasquez is the likely winner of New Mexico’s newly redrawn Second Congressional District, giving Democrats a clean sweep of all statewide and federal offices in New Mexico. Two incumbent Democrats in Doña Ana County, Sheriff Kim Stewart and County Commissioner Shannon Reynolds, were also re-elected, as Democrats won all county races on the ballot. Democrat Christopher Schaljo-Hernandez was unopposed in the other county commission race on the ballot, and Democrats also ran unopposed for county assessor, probate judge, two district court judgeships and seven magistrate court judgeships.

In legislative races, there may be party switches in two New Mexico House of Representatives seats that include portions of Doña Ana County. State Rep. Candie Sweetser, a Democrat, was trailing her challenger, Republican Jenifer Jones, in House District 32, which will include part of Doña Ana County as a result of redistricting. Jones was ahead by 49 votes out of more than 7,500 votes cast in the race in unofficial returns, which the New Mexico Secretary of State’s office (NMSOS) said could trigger a recount. Sweetser and Jones are both from Deming.

In House District 38, an open seat that will include Doña Ana County because of redistricting, Democrat Tara Jaramillo of Socorro defeated Republican Sandra Kay Hammack of San Antonio, New Mexico by 104 votes out of more than 8,800 votes cast in the race. State Rep. Rebecca Dow of Truth or Consequences held the seat before redistricting, which moved her into a different district. She did not seek re-election to the New Mexico House, choosing instead to run in the Republican primary for governor.

Incumbent Democrats were re-elected to all the other New Mexico House seats that include Doña Ana County.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham was re-elected with almost 52 percent of the vote, defeating challenger Mark Ronchetti by about 43,000 votes in unofficial returns. Lujan Grisham was first elected in 2018, defeating Republican Steve Pearce 57-43. Lujan Grisham is the fourth consecutive New Mexico governor to be re-elected to a second four-year term. The last incumbent governor to lose re-election was Democrat Bruce King, who was defeated by Republican Gary Johnson in 1994. Only one other incumbent governor has lost re-election in New Mexico in the past 60 years: Former Doña Ana County state Rep. Ed Mechem, a Republican, lost to Democrat Jack Campbell in 1962.

Incumbent Democrats were re-elected secretary of state and state land commissioner. Democrats also won open seats for attorney general, state auditor and state treasurer. Democrats appointed to the state Supreme Court and state Court of Appeals were elected to full terms and one state Supreme Court Justice and one Court of Appeals judge were retained by New Mexico voters.

Las Cruces voters passed four general obligation (GO) bond questions by wide margins, which will allocate $23 million for affordable housing, city parks and recreational facilities, a new fire station and continued development of the East Mesa Public Recreation Complex.

Sunland Park voters passed three bond projects totaling $12 million for roads, wastewater infrastructure, a public safety complex, a fire truck and other city vehicles, a regional recreation center, a new library and upgrades to the existing city library.

Statewide, voters approved three GO bonds supporting schools, libraries and senior centers and also approved three constitutional amendments, including one that will allocate part of the state’s permanent fund for early childhood care and education.

The NMSOS’ office said the turnout for the 2022 general election was a little more than 51.5 percent, with 703,700 ballots cast in unofficial returns. The state has 1,364,559 registered voters.

The Doña Ana County Clerk’s office said approximately 58,000 county voters cast ballots in the 2022 general election, which NMSOS said was 43.3 percent of the county’s 133,507 registered voters. The clerk’s office said the turnout in the county was about 63,000 voters in 2018 and more than 83,000 voters in 2020.

For unofficial returns, visit https://electionresults.sos.state.nm.us/default.aspx.