The cases were unrelated to the Supeme Court decision on candidates who failed to put district numbers on their nominating petitions; instead opponents of Jacob Candelaria, Senate District 26, and Jennifer Romero, running for Bernalillo County District Attorney, claimed the two did not have enough valid signatures to make the ballot.
Candelaria wrote in an email to supporters on Wednesday that a judge in District Court dismissed the case brought by Carlos Villanueva.
My opponent challenged the signatures I collected and alleged fraud in the Bernalillo County Clerk’s office.
Now there’s no question I’m a candidate and I will fight for what I know matters to the working families of Senate District 26: jobs, good schools and improved Westside infrastructure.
Senate District 26 is an open seat after state Sen. Bernadette Sanchez opted to retire rather than run for another term in a crowded primary. There is no Republican candidate.
Romero had the signatures on her nominating petitions challenged by incumbent District Attorney Kari Brandenburg and her case went up to the state Supreme Court.
In District Court, Romero was ruled ineligible because she was one valid signature short of the 828 needed to qualify for the primary ballot.
During a hearing before the Supreme Court, Romero’s attorney said there was a procedural flaw in how one voter’s signature was challenged and the judge should have counted the signature – giving Romero enough to meet the requirements to run for office.
“Today, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that I had enough signatures and I am on the ballot for the June primary,” Romero said on Facebook.
Not all candidates are in the clear. State Rep. Dianne Hamilton, R-Silver City, took her case in front of the Supreme Court yesterday and they are still deciding whether or not she qualifies for the ballot. Hamilton failed to list her county or address on the nominating petitions. Plus, there is a question if she even has enough valid signatures.
Further, he said, the remainder of Hamilton’s petitions contained 22 invalid signatures.
Eleven were from people who were not Republicans when they signed. Eleven others were from people who live outside Hamilton’s District 38.
Hunt asked the court to disallow all of them. If it does, Hamilton would be left with 63 signatures — seven shy of the total needed to qualify, Hunt said.
Hamilton has been a driving force behind the push for voter ID laws in New Mexico. So far, her efforts have gone nowhere but Hamilton vowed to try again.
Photo by Keith Burtis, Flickr