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Secretary of State candidate JoHanna Cox announces withdrawal from race

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Republican Secretary of State nominee JoHanna Cox announced Wednesday her withdrawal from the race, citing her need to attend to personal matters involving her family.

“As a single mother who runs her own law practice, it was never easy to balance my full-time commitments with the demands of a statewide political campaign,” Cox said. “At this point, I must withdraw my candidacy to place my full focus on my responsibilities to my family."

She said she was unable to continue because her family required her full attention. Cox, an Albuquerque attorney, was running for the office against incumbent Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat.

The state Republican Party plans to convene its state central committee as soon as possible to select a new nominee to run against Toulouse Oliver in the Nov. 6 general election. Former state rep. Sandra Jeff is also running as a Libertarian candidate for secretary of state.

Cox said she decided to run for office because she “believed the system of government and the will of New Mexico voters are undermined when elected officials use their position to wield political influence rather than serve the public.”

“The Secretary of State’s office needs a leader that always put people before a political party,” Cox said. “New Mexicans deserve a Secretary of State who will oversee free and fair elections and follow the law without giving preference to one political party.”

Toulouse Oliver was elected to the office Nov. 8, 2016, following the resignation of Republican Secretary of State Dianna Duran, who pleaded guilty to embezzlement charges after she was charged with spending thousands of dollars in campaign funds on gambling.

"Though I am no longer running for office, my belief that our state needs new leadership is unchanged. I will give my full support to the candidate who takes my place on the ballot, so New Mexicans can have a Secretary of State free of political bias,” Cox said.