ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Two Democratic state lawmakers will face off Wednesday in a runoff to determine who will be the party’s nominee in a special election for New Mexico’s vacant seat in the House of Representatives.
The Democratic Party of New Mexico announced Tuesday night that state Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez and state Rep. Melanie Stansbury were the top vote-getters during an election decided by members of the party’s state central committee on Tuesday. Sedillo Lopez earned 37.2% of the vote and Stansbury received 21.6%.
There were eight candidates in the race that was decided by about 200 members of the state central committee.
Because neither candidate earned more than 50% of the vote, the two finalists will head to a runoff, which will also be voted on by the state central committee.
Sedillo Lopez had a strong showing Tuesday. Of the 199 party officials who voted in the election, she earned 74 votes and Stansbury received 43 votes.
Albuquerque attorney Randi McGinn was the first candidate left out of the runoff. She received 34 votes.
“The Democratic party is focused on running a fair election in accordance with our rules and state law,” said Marg Elliston, the chair of the state Democratic Party. “I want to extend my gratitude to all of the incredible candidates who will not be advancing. We’re grateful to all of our candidates for running strong, issue-focused campaigns, and we look forward to determining our nominee in the coming days.”
The candidates are seeking the House seat that is vacant after Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland resigned after being confirmed to the Cabinet position. Whoever wins between Sedillo Lopez and Stansbury will be the Democratic party’s nominee in a June 1 special election.
Over the weekend, the Republican party selected state Sen. Mark Moores as its candidate. And New Mexico Libertarians tapped Chris Manning, a Farmington war veteran, as its nominee.