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Lt. gov. candidate Jeff Carr quits race

Dan McKaySANTA FE – Democrat Jeff Carr, a former member of the Public Education Commission, ended his campaign for lieutenant governor Thursday, leaving three candidates in the race.

His announcement comes after he failed to win at least 20 percent of the vote from delegates at the state Democratic Party’s pre-primary convention earlier this month – a threshold that would have guaranteed him a spot on the ballot.

Remaining in the race are:

• State Sen. Howie Morales of Silver City.

• Former state Rep. Rick Miera of Albuquerque.

• Doña Ana County Commissioner Billy Garrett, who didn’t clear the 20 percent mark at the pre-primary convention, but he is working to gather additional petition signatures to secure a spot on the ballot, a spokesman said.

The primary is June 5. Whoever wins the nomination for lieutenant governor will be paired on the general election ballot with the Democratic candidate for governor.

Carr, who’s from Eagle Nest in northern New Mexico, endorsed one of those candidates, Jeff Apodaca.

Also running are U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham of Albuquerque, state Sen. Joseph Cervantes of Las Cruces and Apodaca, a former television executive.

On the Republican side, the ticket is already settled: U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce of Hobbs is the gubernatorial nominee, and retired police detective Michelle Garcia Holmes of Albuquerque is the candidate for lieutenant governor.

commission seat: Another domino is set to fall after Tim Keller’s win in Albuquerque’s mayoral race.

Keller, a Democrat, stepped down as state auditor last year to move into the Mayor’s Office at City Hall.

And then Bernalillo County Commissioner Wayne Johnson was appointed to complete the rest of Keller’s term as state auditor. He subsequently resigned from the County Commission.

And now Gov. Susana Martinez gets to decide who should succeed Johnson on the commission.

State Rep. Jim Smith, R-Tijeras, is among the candidates running to replace Johnson.

Dan McKay: dmckay@abqjournal.com

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