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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two-term Attorney General Gary King won New Mexico's Democratic gubernatorial contest Tuesday for the right to challenge Republican Gov. Susana Martinez in the general election.
Martinez, who's favored to win re-election, is a rising star in GOP circles as the nation's first female Hispanic governor. The first-term governor had no primary election opponent.
King defeated four other candidates with a little over a third of the vote, according to unofficial incomplete returns. He led in the vote-rich Albuquerque metropolitan area and large swaths of the rest of the state, including ranching and oil-producing regions.
"This is the battle for the future of New Mexico — and this starts tomorrow," King told cheering supporters in a victory speech.
He pointed out that a recent report ranked New Mexico worst in the country in child well-being.
"We are going to stand together for families. We're going to stand together for the working people in the state of New Mexico. We're going to stand together for teachers and education."
Santa Fe businessman Alan Webber ran second behind King, followed by former government administrator Lawrence Rael of Albuquerque and state Sen. Howie Morales of Silver City. State Sen. Linda Lovejoy of Albuquerque trailed.
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