In 2022, a slew of elections were held for a variety of state and federal offices across the United States, with the state of New Mexico being no exception. One such state that saw somewhat competitive elections was New Mexico, where Republican candidates challenged the overwhelmingly Democratic leadership in the state. This article will explore the statewide races on a county-by-county level.
In the state of New Mexico, the candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor run on the same ticket as running mates, like how presidential and vice-presidential candidates run in the modern day. Incumbent Democratic governor Michelle Lujan Grisham ran for re-election in 2022 after winning a four-year term in 2018.
In the primary elections, there was no competition on the Democratic side. Governor Grisham won the primary against no opposition with 125,238 votes, while on the Republican side, the prior Republican nominee for the state’s senate seat that was up for election in 2020, Mark Ronchetti ran against four other Republicans. Ronchetti won the primary with 68,658 votes (58.41% of the vote), while the other Republican candidates took 48,893 votes (41.59%). The Lieutenant Gubernatorial nominee for the Democrats was the incumbent, Howie Morales, while the nominee for the Republicans was Ant Thornton, who won his primary with 64,386 votes (59.71%) against Peggy Muller-Aragon, who won 43,438 votes (40.29%).
|County||Ronchetti (R)||Grisham (D)||Ronchetti %||Grisham %|
|Margin||D +45,467||D +6.38%|
In the general election, Gisham won the Democratic-leaning population centers of Bernalillo, Doña Ana, Sandoval, and Santa Fe by a combined 88,084 votes. Ronchetti won the rest of the state by a margin of 42,617 – not enough to offset the strong Democratic advantage in the state’s urban areas.
In the 2022 New Mexico Attorney General election, Democratic Incumbent Hector Balderas was term limited and thus, this became an open seat election. The Democratic primary saw Raúl Torrez, a district attorney based in Bernalillo County, run against Brian Colón, the New Mexico State Auditor. Torrez won the primary with 73,299 votes (53.49%) while Colón took 63,723 votes (46.51%). In the Republican primary, Jeremy Gay ran for the Republican nomination with no opposition, winning the primary with 92,688 votes.
|County||Gay (R)||Torrez (D)||Gay %||Torrez %|
|Margin||D +74,569||D +10.61%|
In the general election, Torrez won the population centers of Bernalillo, Doña Ana, Sandoval, and Santa Fe Counties by a combined margin of 100,175 votes, while Republican candidate Gay won the rest of the state by a 25,606-vote margin. This wasn’t nearly enough to overcome the Democratic edge, resulting in a decisive victory of 10.6%.
2022 New Mexico Secretary of State Election
In the 2022 New Mexico Secretary of State Election, incumbent Democrat Maggie Toulouse Oliver for re-election to a second term after winning a four-year term in 2018. Oliver advanced from the Democratic primary with 120,492 votes, facing no other primary opponents, while Republican candidate Audrey Trujillo advanced from the Republican primary with 93,172 votes, also facing no other primary opponents. A Libertarian, Mayna Myers, advanced from the Libertarian primary with 1,142 votes.
|County||Trujillo (R)||Oliver (D)||Trujillo %||Oliver %|
|Margin||D +83,763||D +11.88%|
After all the votes were cast and recorded, it became evident that Oliver had won a convincing victory over Trujillo. She was able to do this by winning the population centers of Bernalillo, Doña Ana, Sandoval, and Santa Fe by a combined margin of 113,730 votes, while Trujillo only won the rest of the state’s counties by a margin of 29,967 votes. Her 11.9% victory was the widest of any contested statewide race this cycle.
2022 New Mexico State Treasurer
In the 2022 New Mexico State Treasurer election, incumbent Democratic State Treasurer Tim Eichenberg was term limited and the positions was subject to an open seat election. In the Democratic primary, Laura Montoya, a prior treasurer from Sandoval County, faced off against Heather Benavidez, a former judge. Montoya won the primary with 75,538 votes (58.70%), while Benavidez earned 43,148 votes (41.30%). In the Republican primary, prior Sante Fe county commissioner Harry Montoya won against no opposition with 91,766 votes. Both candidates advanced to the general election.
|County||Montoya (R)||Montoya (D)||Montoya (R) %||Montoya (D) %|
|Margin||D +43,865||D +6.30%|
In the general election, Laura Montoya won the population centers of Bernalillo, Doña Ana, Sandoval, and Santa Fe by a combined 82,564 votes. The Republican candidate, Harry Montoya, won the remains by a margin of 38,699 votes. With a margin of 6.3%, this was the closest statewide race in New Mexico of the cycle.
2022 New Mexico State Auditor Election
In the 2022 New Mexico State Auditor election, incumbent Democratic State Auditor Brian Colón did not run for re-election and ran for Attorney General. This made the State Auditor election an open seat race. In the Democratic primary, Joseph Maestas, chairman of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, ran against Zackary Quintero, placing first with 74,701 votes (57.27%), while Quintero earned 55,732 votes (42.73%). No Republican filed to run, but a Libertarian candidate, Robert Vaillancourt, won the Libertarian primary, but withdrew, allowing Libertarians to replace him with Travis Sanchez.
|County||Sanchez (L)||Maestas (D)||Sanchez %||Maestas %|
|Margin||D +154,085||D +23.87%|
In the general election, Maestas won a resounding victory over Sanchez. He was able to do this by winning the population centers by an astonishing 178,979 votes – a 71%-29% margin – while Sanchez only carried the remainder of the state by 24,894. With a margin of 23.9%, this was by far the least competitive race of the cycle – to be expected of a race where Republicans failed to nominate a candidate.
2022 New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands Election
In the 2022 New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands election, Stephanie Richard, the Democratic incumbent, ran for re-election. Richard won the Democratic primary after facing no opposition with 116,641 votes, while Republican Jefferson Byrd won the Republican primary with 92,318 votes. Both advanced to the general election.
|County||Byrd (R)||Richard (D)||Byrd %||Richard %|
|Margin||D +68,768||D +9.90%|
After all the votes were counted, Richard won a solid victory over Republican candidate Byrd. Richard was able to win by winning the population centers by a margin of 98,596 votes, while Byrd won the rest by a margin of 29,828 votes.