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By JAY MILLER
SANTA FE -- Except for the land commissioner contest, all of New Mexico's down-ballot statewide races have incumbents seeking office again.
Secretary of State Mary Herrera, Attorney General Gary King, Treasurer James Lewis, and auditor Hector Balderas all are in their first term of office and eligible to seek a second four-year term.
Democrats sometimes draw opposition from within their own party in primary elections. Republicans almost never challenge their own. Republican Greg Sowards was severely chastised by the GOP state party chairman for challenging fellow Republican, U.S. Rep. Joe Skeen back in the '90s.
Sometimes Republicans aren't even able to recruit a candidate for some of those races, especially treasurer and auditor. From time to time, proposals have been made to eliminate some or all of the down-ballot offices.
But New Mexicans like to have as much say-so as possible about their leaders. Never mind that they usually have no idea who the candidates are. A governor, on the other hand, tends to know the people he appoints.
A system, similar to the federal government model, in which the president appoints his entire team, could work especially well for Republicans in New Mexico.
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