Local Elections: Democrats take control of the State House and Senate


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE)Election Night doesn’t just mean presidential races. There are races around the state that have Democrat and Republican officials eager for Tuesday night’s results.

State House Results

Democrats now control the State House and Senate, winning back the majority in the House after an historic Republican takeover in 2014. Republicans previously had a slim 37 to 33 advantage.

State Senate Fight

Republican state lawmakers were also watching the numbers closely not only for the House, but hoping they could take the Senate as well.

In the State Senate, Republicans have not had the majority since the 80’s but the bright spot for the GOP is the race in Senate District 29. In the end, District 29 did vote Republican, however, the Democrats retain control of the Senate overall.

State House Fight

Of course right now the fight over the House is the main concern for Democrats.

State Democrats were watching the numbers closely at the Hotel Andaluz where it does look good for Dems in many parts of the state. In the Senate, the big ticket race was senator Michael Sanchez–who was behind in the race; that was a blow for Dems but it looks like they will keep the State Senate overall.

The State House was a historic win when Republicans took it for the first time in 60 years. Dems look like they will get enough seats to take care of the Chamber though.

Secretary of State

Maggie Toulouse Oliver will be the next Secretary of State. She easily beat Nora Espinoza, a state lawmaker out of Roswell. Toulouse Oliver will finish out the last two years of Dianna Duran’s term after Duran was criminally convicted.

This was one of the more heated races this year. Both candidates rolled out their own attack ads on each other as they fought for this seat.

Constitutional Amendment

New Mexico voters passed a constitutional amendment, the only one on the ballot this election, by 87 percent. It will allow judges, on rare occasions, to hold the most dangerous criminals without bond, keeping them off the street.

The amendment will also allow judges to release non-violent defendants who don’t pose a flight risk, if the only reason they’re being held is because they can’t afford to get out.

Bond C

State Bond C is a proposal allocating $124-million to higher education without raising taxes. More than 60-percent voted yes to the bond.

District 9

In District 9 which covers Rio Rancho, Democrat John Sapien went up against Republican Diego Espinoza. Sapien, an insurance salesman, won in 2010 and 2014 by close margins. In the end, Sapien won by a narrow margin over Espinoza. 

District 10

Republican Candace Gould, an advocate for foster care children won against David Simon, the executive director for the Jewish Community Center. Republicans usually have an easy time winning this district, but this year is tricky because of the presidential race and high Democratic turnout. In the end, Gould beat Simon by about 2 percentage points.

District 10 covers northwest Albuquerque and the North Valley.

District 15

New Mexico House race Republican Sarah Maestas Barnes looks like she’ll have another term.

District 23

A big surprise was that Democrat Daymon Ely challenged Paul Pacheco. Ely eventually came out the winner of the close race.

District 24

Elizabeth Thompson won the State House seat with a solid lead over opponent Christina Hall.

District 27

Republican Larry Larrange won with a commanding lead over Democrat Ronald Krise.

District 29

One of the biggest stories of the night: Gregory Baca holds a lead over Michael Sanchez. Sanchez will be losing his seat after Republicans aired attack ads to take Sanchez down which proved to be effective.

District 30

Nate Gentry was challenged by Natalie Figueroa, but held a steady lead.

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