Published: 8:42 am, Mon. Nov. 5th, 2018Updated: 4:47 pm
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico voters will pick the state’s next governor to replace a termed-out Republican in Tuesday’s election and fill a long list of statewide offices.
The state House is up for election as Democrats defend their majority.
In federal races, voters are deciding a three-way Senate race and filling three congressional seats, including two with no incumbent. Ballot issues include a constitutional amendment to create an independent state ethics commission.
Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Absentee ballots are due by 7 p.m. at Election Day polling places or county clerks’ offices.
A look at the top races:
Two members of Congress are vying to succeed Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, who is prohibited by law from seeking a third consecutive term.
The race between Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce of Hobbs and U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham of Albuquerque has focused on discontent about employment opportunities in an oil-dependent state economy, the state’s education system and concerns about crime.
Pearce, 71, is a former Air Force pilot and oilfield entrepreneur who wants to invest a budget surplus in infrastructure improvements and provide new opportunities for vocation training. Michelle Lujan Grisham previously oversaw state health agencies under three governors and a business that ran a statewide health insurance pool. She has pledged to devote more resources to education and child protective services and has embraced incentives to expand the renewable energy sector.
Pearce’s running mate for lieutenant governor is Republican former police detective Michelle Garcia Holmes. Democratic state Sen. Howie Morales is paired with Lujan Grisham.
In Pearce’s House District 2, in southern New Mexico, Democrats hope to flip what has been a reliably Republican seat. GOP state Rep. Yvette Herrell is competing with Democratic attorney and former congressional staffer Xochitl Torres Small.
In House District 1, Democrat Debra Haaland, a tribal member of Laguna Pueblo, is vying to become one of the first female Native American members of Congress. She faces Republican former state lawmaker Janice Arnold-Jones and Libertarian Lloyd Princeton in an increasingly progressive district that spans Albuquerque and surrounding suburbs.
In northern New Mexico’s House District 3, incumbent Ben Ray Lujan is seeking a sixth term, competing against Republican Jerald Steve McFall and Libertarian Chris Manning.
In the state House, Democrats are defending their 38-32 majority. Wins on Tuesday could provide the Democratic Party with unified control of the legislative and executive branches for the first time since 2010.
Voters will decide 36 contested House races. A dozen incumbent Democrats and 16 incumbent Republicans have competition.
Prominent Republican departures include Minority Leader Nate Gentry, while GOP Rep. Monica Youngblood is campaigning despite a recent drunken driving conviction. Among Democrats, the number of women could overtake men in the House.
Republicans won a House majority in 2014 for the first time in six decades, only to be ousted two years later.
Attorney General Hector Balderas is running for a second term. The Democratic former state lawmaker and state auditor is competing against Republican Michael Hendricks, an immigration attorney, and Libertarian A. Blair Dunn, an Albuquerque-based attorney.
Democratic Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver is running for re-election against Republican Gavin Clarkson and Libertarian Ginger Grider. Toulouse Oliver was elected secretary of state during a special election in November 2016 to finish the remainder of the term vacated by Republican Dianna Duran after her 2015 resignation and conviction on embezzlement and money laundering charges.
Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn is not seeking a second term, setting up a contest between Republican former land commissioner Patrick Lyons, a rancher from eastern New Mexico, and Democratic state Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, a school district administrator from Los Alamos. The State Land Office controls oil, mineral and renewable energy development on state trust land.
Republican-appointed State Auditor Wayne Johnson is defending his job against Democratic challenger Brian Colon, an Albuquerque attorney.
Republican Arthur Castillo, a military veteran and former chief financial officer in the state treasurer’s office, is challenging incumbent State Treasurer Tim Eichenberg, a Democrat.
Voters will decide whether to create an independent ethics commission to oversee the conduct of elected officials, public employees and others.
Voters also are considering a constitutional amendment that eventually could streamline the appeals process in the state judiciary.
For AP’s complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics