As expected, Heather Wilson won the Republican pre-primary convention. The question was whether or not Greg Sowards would be able to get the 20 percent of delegates needed to get on the ballot without collecting signatures.
This did not happen, as Wilson received the vote of 83 percent of the delegates and Sowards only received the vote of 17 percent of delegates. The final vote count was 654 to 134 and can’t be viewed as anything but a setback for Sowards.
Sowards had previously vowed to stay in the race no matter what but now faces an even more uphill battle — no candidate who has failed to make the ballot from the pre-primary convention (in either party) has ever won the primary vote.
More results from the pre-primary convention as they are announced.
1st congressional district (2:09 pm)
Former state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones backed up her big talk and posted a big victory in the Republican pre-primary convention, getting 62 percent of the vote while Albuquerque city councilor Dan Lewis also made the ballot with 35 percent. Gary Smith did not make the ballot, getting just a handful of votes.
The raw vote totals are not yet available, but this post will be updated when they are.
3rd congressional district (2:30 pm)
In the only other contested race, Rick Newton topped Jefferson Byrd 65 percent to 35 percent. These are two candidates with long odds of knocking off incumbent Ben Ray Lujan in the heavily Democratic 3rd congressional district. But it is interesting that the candidate who called Lujan a “socialist” is the one who won the pre-primary.