SANTA FE, N.M. — The New Mexico Secretary of State’s office has disqualified Anise Golden-Morper as a candidate for the Third Congressional District race for failing to use a legally prescribed petition form to collect qualifying signatures from registered voters.
“As a result, the Secretary of State was only able to count signatures submitted on the required legally prescribed form and Ms. Golden-Morper did not collect the 463 signatures required to qualify,” a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office wrote in an email.
Consequently, Golden-Morper’s name will not be on the ballot for the primary election in June.
The spokesman added that the proper forms have been readily available on the office’s website since October 2019.
Efforts by the Journal to reach Golden-Morper, a Republican from Angel Fire, by phone and email on Wednesday were unsuccessful.
But Golden-Morper’s campaign responded with a statement on Thursday accusing Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse-Oliver, a Democrat, of politicizing her office and vowing to take legal action.
“Anise is being targetted by a hyper-partisan witch hunt similar to what just happened to President Trump in Washington D.C. by a weaponized Secretary of State,” the statement says. “Toulouse-Oliver is doing exactly what her D.C. puppeteers are ordering her to do. She caved to the whims of Chuck Schumer by dropping out of the US Senate race and now she’s doing exactly what Nancy Pelosi wants by arbitrary disqualifying the Republican most likely to win New Mexico’s 3rd congressional district. The desperate Democrats know that they can’t hold this seat so they are resorting to desperate dirty tricks. We plan on taking this to the courts and fighting tooth and nail against this flagrant abuse of power.”
Golden-Morper had raised the most money of any GOP candidate in the Third Congressional District race through the end of 2019, according to Federal Election Commission documents.
She had collected a little more than $20,000, outpacing Karen Bedonie, of the Mexican Springs chapter of the Navajo Nation, who had raised $15,477, and Audra Lee Brown, of Portales, who had raised $7,138.
Two other Republican candidates in the race, Harry Montoya and Alexis Johnson, both of Santa Fe, raised less than $5,000.
The Third Congressional District seat is being vacated by Ben Ray Lujan, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat now occupied by Tom Udall, who is retiring.
The district seat, which represents northern New Mexico, has long been held by Democrats, and seven Democrats qualified for the primary. They are John Blair, Teresa Leger Fernandez, Laura Montoya, Valerie Plame, Joseph Sanchez, Marco Serna and Kyle Tisdel.