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Carmack-Altwies prevails in Santa Fe district attorney race

Mary Carmack-Altwies campaigns outside the Santa Fe County Fair Building on Election Day. Carmack-Altwies appears to be poised to win the Democratic primary for District Attorney in the 1st Judicial District. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – It seems the 1st Judicial District Court will have a new leader with a familiar face after Tuesday’s primary elections.

Deputy District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies appears set to win the Democratic primary, holding a nearly 30-point lead over her opponent, attorney Scott Fuqua, on Wednesday morning.

Carmack-Altwies’ campaign didn’t declare victory until late into the night. She said her emphasis on the issues facing the DA’s office ultimately delivered her the win.

“The 1st Judicial District is looking for a positive change and I’m going to deliver on that,” she said.

Carmack-Altwies will have no opponent in the general election, all but guaranteeing her taking control of the District Attorney’s Office next year.

Her win comes as thousands of protests against police brutality have started in cities around the nation, sparked by the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer last week, and has included criticism of the entire criminal justice system.

Carmack-Altwies said reforming the criminal justice system in the district will be one her office’s main priorities.

“We’re going to hold all people accountable, whether they’re a police officer or citizen,” she said.

Fuqua did not return multiple requests for comment.

Results for other Santa Fe County races, held up by delays in ballot processing, slowly came in early Wednesday morning.

Unofficial results show Hank Hughes far ahead in his bid to replace the departing Ed Moreno on the Santa Fe County Commission. Hughes had earned 66% of the vote, according to results posted on the Secretary of State’s website, compared with 34% for Floyd Trujillo.

The results don’t become official until the state canvassing board certifies the election.

Hughes said while he will have no opponent in the general election, he intends to remain communicative with constituents before November.

“What I really plan to do is learn as much about the issues facing the county right now,” he said.

Hughes ran on a platform primarily focused on affordable housing and renewable energy. He is currently executive director of the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness.

Out of a field of five candidates, Katharine Clark had garnered 53% of the vote for the position of county clerk by Wednesday morning, leaving little doubt she will emerge the winner.

She prevailed over Letitia Montoya, who had 17% of the vote, Sarah Guzman and Richard A. Padilla, both with 13%, and Bryan Flores, 3%.

Aware of the issues the county had with an overwhelming number of absentee ballots, Clark said it is important to increase the number of mail-out ballots by November.

“Particularly in the fall election, there’s some question whether or not COVID is going to have a resurgence,” she said.

Clark also said she plans on launching a formal process review of past Santa Fe County elections once she takes office, in order to make them faster and more efficient.

In the closest race of the night, Jennifer Manzanares had an eight-point advantage in the county treasurer race. She had received 49% of the vote, followed by Lucinda Marker (41%) and Robert Rubin (10%).

Clark and Manzanares are also all but guaranteed election in November, as no other party entered a candidate in the race for county clerk or treasurer.

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