NEW MEXICO
     Nov. 6, 2018 Governor

Gov.
Sen.2
Sen.1
2018


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+Michelle Lujan Grisham /H.Morales (D)
398,368
57.20%
Steve Pearce /M.Garcia Holmes (R)
298,091
42.80%

696,459

Turnout 701,654 of 1,261,639.
Plurality 100,277 votes (14.40 percentage points).
  NM Secretary of State




DEMOCRATIC PICK UP
Notes: 
Term-limited Gov. Susana Martinez (R) was among the nation's ten least popular governors according to the Morning Consult poll.  The race to succeed her pitted U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), 59, against U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce (R), 71.
 
Lujan Grisham announced she would run for governor on Dec. 13, 2016.  She was first elected to represent the 1st CD (central New Mexico including much of Albuquerque) in 2012.  She served  as a Bernalillo County Commissioner from 2010-12 after serving in the administrations of Govs. Bruce King, Gary Johnson and Bill Richardson, starting as Director of the Agency on Aging and finishing as Secretary of Health. 

Pearce announced that he would  run for governor on July 10, 2017.  He was elected to represent the 2nd CD (the Southern half of New Mexico including a quarter of Albuquerque) in 2010 after a previous stint in Congress from 2002-08.  In 2008 he did not seek re-election to the House and was the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, obtaining 38.7% of the vote against Tom Udall (D).  Pearce also unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2000.  He served two terms in the New Mexico House (elected in 1996 and 1998) and ran an oilfied services company.  He is a Vietnam Veteran.

Lujan Grisham easily won the June 5 primary, garnering 66.4% of the vote over Jeff Apodaca (22.2%) and Joseph Cervantes (10.7%).  In the vote for lieutenant governor, Democratic voters chose Howie C. Morales as their nominee.  Pearce did not face a primary challenge, nor did Michelle Garcia Holmes, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor.

The candidates participated in three debates: on KRQE News 13 on Sept. 19 (+); KOB 4 on Oct. 16 (+); and KOAT Channel 7 and the Albuquerque Journal on Oct. 24 (+).

The Lujan Grisham campaign enjoyed a two-to-one fundraising avantage.  According to the National Institute on Money in Politics, her campaign reported contributions of $10.1 million compared to $5.0 million for the Pearce campaign (+).  This does not take into account independent spending by outside groups.  Interestingly in May-June 2018, the Pearce campaign appeared to have the advantage.  On Nov. 2017 U.S. District Judge Judith Herrera ruled Pearce could transfer hundreds of thousands of dollars from his congressional campaign to his campaign for governor.  New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse had argued that the move would have violated the state's $5,500 contribution limit (+).

As a postscript, on Nov. 20 Pearce announced he would run for chairmanship of the New Mexico Republican Party, and he was elected to that position on Dec. 8.

See also:
Morgan Lee.  "Ties to Donald Trump haunt lone GOP candidate for New Mexico governor."  The Associated Press, May 8, 2018.



Campaign Managers:
Michelle Lujan Grisham:  Dominic Gabello
(Oct. 2017)  Chief of staff (from April 2013) and communications director (Jan.-April 2013) to Rep. Lujan Grisham.  Campaign manage on Michelle Lujan Grisham for Congress, Feb.-Dec. 2012.  Self-employed political consultant, Sept. 2009-Jan. 2012.  Campaign manager on Harry Teague for Congress (NM), June-Nov. 2010.  Political director on Virginians for Brian Moran, Feb. 2008-June 2009.  Policy analyst in the Virginia Liaison Office/Office of the Governor, Jan. 2007-Feb. 2008.   Northeast political director on Forward Together PAC (Gov. Mark Warner), Jan.-Dec. 2006.  Field director on OneVirginia, April 2003-Dec. 2006.  Operations manager at Mindshare Interactive Campaigns, June-Oct. 2002.  B.A. in political science from The George Washington, University, 2002.


Steve Pearce: 
Paul Smith
???
Spokesman  Kevin Sheridan




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