3 House Democrats lose in primaries - Albuquerque Journal

3 House Democrats lose in primaries

Bill Gomez, Debbie Rodella and Carl Trujillo.

Three Democratic members of the state House — two moderates in northern New Mexico and one in the southern part of the state — lost their re-election bids to challengers from within their own party late Tuesday, according to unofficial election returns.

The results, if confirmed, would push the Democratic caucus in the House a little to the left.

Rep. Debbie Rodella — a 25-year member of the state House and a powerful committee chairwoman — was defeated by Susan Herrera, a retiree making her first run for office.

Also losing their re-election bids were Democratic Reps. Carl Trujillo of Nambé and Bealquin “Bill” Gomez of La Mesa.

In each of the races, the winner of the Democratic primary is in line to have a free ride in the fall. No Republicans or Libertarians are running in those districts.

Herrera grabbed about 56 percent of the vote in her race against Rodella.

Rodella, chairwoman of the House Business and Industry Committee, has been a leading moderate voice on some issues, such as the minimum wage.

But Herrera ran an aggressive campaign, suggesting Rodella doesn’t share traditional Democratic values. Rodella voted against legalizing same-sex marriage, for example.

The district covers much of Española and Rio Arriba County, a sizable piece of Taos County and part of northern Santa Fe County.

Rodella hadn’t faced a contested race in a dozen years.

Here’s a look at some of the key races:

- Trujillo, a scientist and business owner, faced off against Andrea Romero, a Santa Fe entrepreneur, in a race that was rocked by allegations of sexual harassment against Trujillo and questionable travel reimbursements by Romero.

Trujillo is the subject of an internal House investigation into allegations levied by a lobbyist — that he propositioned her, touched her inappropriately and retaliated when she rejected his advances. Trujillo says the accusations are lies.

Romero has had controversy of her own. She agreed this year to repay some expenses to a regional coalition in Los Alamos — where she worked as the group’s executive director — after auditors questioned spending on baseball tickets and alcohol.

Romero won nearly 53 percent of the vote, according to unofficial returns.

- Gomez lost his re-election bid by 34 votes to Raymundo Lara in a southern New Mexico district. Lara is a school administrator, and Gomez is a retired professor.

Lara won about 51 percent of the vote, according to unofficial returns.

– Democratic Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero defeated two primary challengers: retired police officer Robert Atencio and Damion Cruzz, a hospice nurse and entrepreneur.

The district covers part of Southwest Albuquerque, near 98th and Central Avenue.

Roybal Caballero had faced criticism about her commitment to living in the district. She acknowledges that she jointly owns a home in El Paso — which she inherited — but says she lives full time in her Albuquerque district.

No Republican is running.

All 70 seats in the state House of Representatives are on the ballot this year. Nine seats are open, with no incumbent seeking re-election.

Meanwhile, 26 incumbents have a free ride this year, with no opposing candidate in either the primary or the general election.

Democrats now hold a 38-31 edge in the state House, with one seat vacant. Tuesday’s election won’t alter the balance of power, of course, but it will establish the matchups for the Nov. 6 general election.

 

Home » Politics » Election » 3 House Democrats lose in primaries


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Do job-seekers still have the upper hand with salary ...
ABQnews Seeker
You are at the mercy of ... You are at the mercy of the market until you can prove you’re worth more
2
A man lost his leg after being run over ...
ABQnews Seeker
Lawsuit claims forklift operator, store did ... Lawsuit claims forklift operator, store did not take proper precautions
3
The annual Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival Holiday ...
ABQnews Seeker
In its 22nd year, the holiday ... In its 22nd year, the holiday show featured the work of 165 artists
4
End of the line: Why some New Mexicans may ...
ABQnews Seeker
NM Medicaid enrollees warned: Yearly requalifications ... NM Medicaid enrollees warned: Yearly requalifications on horizon again
5
University of New Mexico's plan for massive development project ...
ABQnews Seeker
Plan to use tax money for ... Plan to use tax money for site's development under scrutiny
6
NM National Guard delivers donated freezers to families affected ...
ABQnews Seeker
Freezers were given to San Miguel ... Freezers were given to San Miguel and Mora county residents after damage caused by fire or related power outages
7
Udeze's monster game, defense late lead Lobos to blowout ...
ABQnews Seeker
Morris Udeze had 33 points and ... Morris Udeze had 33 points and 14 rebounds, earning the Lobo Classic MVP award, and led UNM to a blowout win over Northern Colorado.
8
Albuquerque Police Department: Man hospitalized after stabbing
ABQnews Seeker
Victim in stable condition after multiple ... Victim in stable condition after multiple stab wounds, police say
9
Suspect arrested after SWAT standoff
ABQnews Seeker
An hours-long standoff on Sunday ended ... An hours-long standoff on Sunday ended with the suspect under arrest, according to Albuquerque police. The Albuquerque Police Department's SWAT team responded to an ...