2012 elections review:New Mexico legislative incumbents lose seats in primaries

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June 6, 2012

By Ballotpedia's Congressional and State legislative teams

The fast-moving primary season of May and June continued with elections in New Mexico yesterday.

Here's a recap of what happened in New Mexico's State Senate, State House, U.S. Senate, and Congressional races.

Contested Primaries in New Mexico -- June 5, 2012
U.S. House
(3 seats)
State Legislature
(112 seats)
Total Democratic Contested Primaries 1 (33.33%) 37 (33.04%)
Total Republican Contested Primaries 1 (33.33%) 15 (13.4%)


U.S. Senate

United States Senate elections in New Mexico, 2012

For U.S. Senate, each party had a choice of two candidates in the primary, as incumbent Jeff Bingaman (D) is retiring. Democrats chose current U.S. Representative Martin Heinrich over state auditor Hector Balderas. Republicans gave former U.S. Representative Heather Wilson 70% of the vote over small-business owner Greg Sowards.[1] The Heinrich-Wilson showdown is expected to be key in determining which party takes the majority in the U.S. Senate in November.[2]

U.S. House

United States House of Representatives elections in New Mexico, 2012

Just a third of primaries for U.S. House were contested in New Mexico -- one primary for each party. In New Mexico's 1st district, Democrats sought to replace Democratic incumbent Martin Heinrich, who is running for U.S. Senate this year. They chose Bernalillo County Commissioner Michelle Lujan Grisham over state Senator Eric Griego and former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez. The race was close, but Grisham's 40% of the vote put her ahead of Griego with 35%.[1]

In the only other contested House primary, Republicans voted for Jeff Byrd over Rick Newton. Byrd received 54% of the vote and will take on Democratic incumbent Ben Ray Lujan in November.[1]

Members of the U.S. House from New Mexico -- Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 2 2
     Republican Party 1 1
Total 3 3

State legislature

There were 112 total legislative seats with elections in 2012 -- 42 Senate seats and 70 House seats.

There were 37 (33.04%) contested Democratic primaries and 15 (13.4%) contested Republican primaries. Thus, there were 52 races with at least two candidates on the ballot. The 23.2% figure of total contested primaries in New Mexico is higher than the current national contested average of 22.84% for states that have had filing deadlines.


Here are some primary races worth noting:


Here are some primary races worth noting:

New Mexico State Senate
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 28 24
     Republican Party 14 17
Total 42 42

New Mexico House of Representatives
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 36 38
     Republican Party 33 30
     Independent 1 0
Total 70 70

See also

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