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SANTA FE (AP) — Kenneth A. Gomez of Bloomfield, a write-in candidate for governor, will be allowed in New Mexico’s general election even though he doesn’t have a running mate, the secretary of state’s office said Monday.
The ruling will give New Mexicans another option — possibly for protest votes — in what’s shaping up as a close race between Democrat Diane Denish and Republican Susana Martinez.
In 1990, two write-in tickets for governor received nearly 1,000 votes.
The decision by Secretary of State Mary Herrera is drawing criticism from county elections officials, who contend that state law doesn’t allow individual write-in candidates for governor in the general election — only gubernatorial tickets.
In 1998, the state Supreme Court rejected a bid by a Taos man to run individually as a Green Party write-in candidate, but the justices did not issue an opinion explaining their decision.
Deputy Secretary of State Don Francisco Trujillo said Gomez will be allowed as a write-in candidate for governor in November.
“Neither the New Mexico Constitution nor state statute prohibit the secretary of state from allowing a write-in candidate for governor without a named lieutenant governor candidate,” Trujillo said.
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