Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver is seeking the Democratic Party nomination for the 2014 secretary of state race, she confirmed Monday.
The two-term clerk of New Mexico’s most populous county said that, if elected, she would seek to improve voter access, in part by modernizing the state’s voter registration system.
Toulouse Oliver is the first Democrat to announce for the secretary of state’s race and the likely front-runner for the party’s nomination.
Democrats are aiming to oust incumbent Secretary of State Dianna Duran, a former state senator from Tularosa who intends to seek reelection next year.
A Republican had not served as New Mexico’s secretary of state since 1930 before Duran defeated then-incumbent Mary Herrera in 2010.
Toulouse Oliver told the Journal she believes Duran has used the issue of voter fraud as a political rallying point during her time in office. However, Duran said she is merely trying to restore public trust in the office that oversees statewide elections.
ON THE ROAD: Gov. Susana Martinez is spending some time on the East Coast in an attempt to bolster her reelection campaign war chest.
The first-term Republican governor left New Mexico on Sunday and is holding private campaign fundraisers this week in Philadelphia and New York, Martinez political consultant Jay McCleskey said.
Martinez has maintained a busy out-of-state travel schedule this year, attending reelection fundraisers in Colorado, Arizona, California and elsewhere.
On her way back from the East Coast, the governor will attend a private fundraiser for her reelection campaign in Midland, Texas, on Thursday before returning to New Mexico.
Martinez’s reelection campaign is covering the costs of her trip, McCleskey said.
DROPPING OUT: One of two announced Democratic candidates for the 2014 state auditor’s race is bowing out due to health concerns.
Santa Fe County Assessor Domingo Martinez said Monday he is dealing with the recurrence of an old leg injury that would make a run for statewide office difficult.
Martinez’s decision to abandon his bid for a second stint as state auditor – he previously held the job from 1998 to 2006 – leaves state Sen. Tim Keller of Albuquerque as the lone Democratic candidate for auditor. No Republicans have announced plans for the race.
Current state Auditor Hector Balderas is barred from seeking a third consecutive term. Balderas is running for attorney general next year.
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