Local News

  • Democrats win majority in New Mexico House

    SANTA FE (AP) — The Democratic Party has won a majority of seats in the New Mexico House of Representatives, taking back control of the chamber from the GOP.

    With Tuesday's victory, Democrats now fill more than half the seats in the 70-member House after campaigning vigorously to regain the edge.

    In 2014, Republicans got control of the House for the first time in six decades by a four-seat margin. The GOP hasn't controlled both chambers of the Legislature since 1929.

    Incoming lawmakers will be dealing with a state budget deficit linked to the downturn in the oil and natural-gas sectors.

    Republican House Majority Leader Nate Gentry had placed a high priority on criminal justice reforms during two legislative sessions this year, often in cooperation with GOP Gov. Susana Martinez.

  • Bernalillo County clerk wins secretary of state's office

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Democrat Maggie Toulouse Oliver won over voters Tuesday in the race for secretary of state after touting her experience running elections in New Mexico's most populous county and vowing to restore confidence in the troubled agency.

    Toulouse Oliver, who has served as the Bernalillo County clerk since 2007, defeated Republican Nora Espinoza to fill the last two years remaining from Dianna Duran's term.

    Marking just the latest scandal to rock the office in recent years, Duran resigned in 2015 and was convicted of embezzlement and money laundering, acknowledging that she used campaign funds to fuel a gambling spree.

    Duran's case reignited the debate about weaknesses in New Mexico's campaign finance laws and led more lawmakers to face accusations of sidestepping the laws by failing to report donations and misusing election funds.

    It was a tough race, with both Toulouse Oliver and Espinoza, a member of the state House and former teacher, pouring money into a series of last-minute television ads.

    Toulouse Oliver was leading the vote-counting effort in Bernalillo County on Tuesday, leaving no time for campaigning.

    She thanked her supporters in a brief statement, saying every donor and every voter made a difference.

  • Hillary Clinton wins largely blue New Mexico

    SANTA FE (AP) — Hillary Clinton has won New Mexico's presidential contest to gain five electoral votes.

    Voters on Tuesday chose the Democrat over Republican Donald Trump and the state's former governor, Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson.

    Clinton prevailed after she and running mate Tim Kaine skipped campaigning in New Mexico and relied on visits from Bill Clinton and a post-primary rally by Bernie Sanders. Registered Democrats far outnumber Republicans in the heavily Hispanic state where Barack Obama won his elections handily.

    Clinton carried the Democratic primary and received near-universal backing from prominent party leaders, along with an endorsement from the Navajo Nation's president.

    Trump's campaign sowed divisions among state Republicans. He never won the backing of GOP Gov. Susana Martinez, chairwoman of the Republican Governors Association and the nation's only Latina governor.

  • Lujan wins 5th term

    SANTA FE (AP) — Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan has won a fifth term representing northern New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District.

    He defeated Republican Michael Romero on Tuesday. Lujan campaigned on efforts to bolster the state economy, internet infrastructure projects and expansion of renewable energy.

    Lujan has spearheaded efforts since 2014 to cut short Republican control of Congress as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. At the Democratic National Convention in July, he introduced a long cast of congressional candidates from diverse backgrounds.

    Romero is a retired law enforcement officer and political newcomer who waged an uphill battle in a district where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly 2-1. His campaign focused on shrinking federal government, seeking congressional term limits and a hard-line approach against terrorism groups

  • County voter turnout down compared to last presidential election

    The Los Alamos County Clerk's Office reports that voter turnout is down this year, compared to last presidential election.

    This year, 10,961 voters out of 14,130, or 78 percent of registered county voters cast ballots in this year’s election. That number was down from last presidential election, when 84 percent of county voters turned out to vote, according to the clerk’s office.

  • Lujan Grisham wins 3rd term

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Democratic U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham has been elected to a third term in New Mexico's 1st Congressional District.

    Lujan Grisham defeated Republican Richard Priem on Tuesday in a district that covers most of Albuquerque.

    Priem dropped out of public view after securing the Republican nomination. The Army veteran-turned-businessman initially emphasized his dedication to counterterrorism efforts.

    Lujan Grisham focused her campaign on the lagging economy and behavioral health care in a state with the nation's second-highest unemployment rate, surging Medicaid enrollment and high rates of opioid-related deaths.

    She has touted her efforts on the House budget committee to expand nutrition benefits for poor children. She's an outspoken supporter of the Affordable Care Act and immigration reform that would provide a pathway to citizenship.

  • Polls close in New Mexico

    SANTA FE (AP) — Polls are closing in New Mexico with no official reports of major difficulties or disturbances.

    Ken Ortiz of the Secretary of State's Office said that voting took place Tuesday with no reports of major delays or equipment malfunctions. Early voting in New Mexico surpassed previous participation records.

    Volunteer poll watchers organized by Common Cause New Mexico are noting a handful of instances of polling irregularities, such as voters being improperly asked for photo identification.

    Common Cause New Mexico executive director Viki Harrison says voters have moved through most polling places rapidly. Absentee ballots were due at 7 p.m.

  • The Latest: Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman re-elected

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The latest on congressional races on Election Day 2016:

    Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman has defeated former Gov. Ted Strickland in a race that once looked like one of the Democrats' best bets to flip a Senate seat.

    Portman, a former U.S. trade representative and budget director, was first elected to the Senate in 2010. He ran a strong campaign, branding Strickland early on as "Retread Ted" and tying him to Ohio's sinking economy during Strickland's governorship, which coincided with the national recession.

    Portman kept Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at a distance leading up to Tuesday's election. Portman didn't campaign with Trump and withdrew his endorsement when a 2005 tape of Trump making lewd comments about kissing and groping women surfaced last month.

    Portman's TV ads touted his work to combat the heroin epidemic, including a new law Portman co-sponsored.

    Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy has won an eighth term. He's the Senate's longest-serving member. The 76-year-old beat back a challenge from Republican businessman Scott Milne.

    Leahy was first elected in 1974 from the liberal state. He's the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee and will likely chair the panel if Democrats reclaim the majority.

  • Clerk's office: Los Alamos voters stream in to vote today

    Los Alamos County Clerk’s Office reported a steady flow of residents voting at the polls Tuesday afternoon.

    As of 5:30 p.m., 874 people today had stopped by the county municipal building to vote. At Municipal Golf Course, 844 had voted, and 787 had voted at the White Rock Library, according to the clerk’s office.

    Voting around New Mexico is continuing to run smoothly since the polls opened.

    Bernalillo County election officials say more than 30,000 voters cast ballots as of noon Tuesday.

    More than 180,000 people in the state's most populous county already voted by early ballot.

    So far, there have been no reports of long waits or major problems at polling sites.

    Meanwhile some candidates are still doing last-minute campaigning including "Breaking Bad" actor Steven Michael Quezada.

    The Democratic candidate for Bernalillo County commissioner was seen earlier in the day holding up one of his campaign signs while standing on an Albuquerque street median.

    Five electoral votes are at stake for presidential candidates in the nation's most Hispanic state, which heavily supported Barack Obama the last time around.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.


  • America chooses between Clinton and Trump for next president

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A polarized America went to the polls Tuesday to pick its 45th president, choosing to elect either Hillary Clinton as the first woman to be president or billionaire businessman Donald Trump, the final act of a long and rancorous campaign that upended U.S. politics.

    The winner will inherit an anxious nation, angry and distrustful of leaders in Washington. She or he will preside over an economy that is improving but still leaves many behind, and a military less extended abroad than eight years ago yet grappling with new terror threats.

    Clinton entered Election Day with multiple paths to victory, while Trump must prevail in most of the battleground states to reach 270 Electoral College votes. Control of the Senate also is at stake; Democrats need to net four seats if Clinton wins the White House. Republicans expect to maintain their House majority.

    Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, arrived to vote at their local polling station in Chappaqua, New York, shortly after 8 a.m. as a crowd of cheering supporters snapped photos. Trump voted in Manhattan about three hours later.