What’s at stake in the primaries? (expanded early voting has begun)

Expanded early voting is going on now. You can find all the potential places to vote early between now and the June 4 primary here. What’s at stake in the primary election? Since Democrats control the Legislature, the most important races are on Democrats’ ballots. The most important races are on the House side where moderates, many of whom bucked the “progressive” push for paid family leave in the last session or the Gov. on guns (and other issues) are facing well-funded challengers put up by “progressive” groups or the Gov. or some combination of the two.

As is often the case you can find details on the voting records of ALL incumbent candidates at our Freedom Index. Most of the moderate Democrats have scores in the Zero range since positive votes and their points are offset by negative votes. “Progressive” Democrats tend to score closer to -50. Check the scores out for yourself. If “moderates” lose their primaries it could mean that New Mexico’s ongoing shift to the left is not complete. If the “moderates” win, that means that perhaps the “progressive” politics in New Mexico have hit their high water mark (at least for now).

On the GOP side there are some interesting races, but given their minority status nothing they do will fundamentally shift New Mexico. Ironically (but typical in GOP politics) while there is a lot of friction among the candidates running in the primaries the fundamental nature of the GOP won’t change dramatically. Here’s what WILL change:

  1. While their numbers will be determined in November, the Senate Republicans will be more conservative than before as conservative house members replace Senate moderates (this is not contingent on primaries as most of the races are settled);
  2. Replacing Rep. Harper in District 57 and Bill Rehm in District 31 are the top races on the House side;
  3. On the Senate side, the District 12 race between Jay Block and Candace Gould is hotly-contested, so is the race to replace Mark Moores in District 21. The race in District 42 between Rep. Larry Scott and Sen. Steve McCutcheon is both extremely heated and expensive.

In summary, the ideological “action” is among House Democrats in this primary, but there are numerous primaries of importance on the House and Senate GOP side (and a few others on the Democrat side). Regardless, go vote!