Eric Griego, who came in second place, and Marty Chavez,w ho placed third, did not concede Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
Lujan Grisham has 40.3 percent of the vote to Griego’s 35.5 percent and Marty Chavez has 24.3 percent of the vote, according to the numbers on the Secretary of State’s website.
“Voters had a choice in this primary,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement. “Tonight, they chose the candidate who not only identifies with the daily struggles of working families, but also dedicated a career to fighting for those families. I was successful because I always knew who my boss was – I answered to those families and those seniors.”
Lujan Grisham also began the work towards consolidating the Democratic voters that will be needed when she takes on Republican Janice Arnold-Jones in the general election in November.
Arnold-Jones faced no competition in her primary.
“I respect Eric Griego’s passion for standing up to the powerful on behalf of the poor and dispossessed in society–those who have the least,” Lujan Grisham said. “And I acknowledge Marty Chavez’s long record of accomplishment for the people of Albuquerque. I salute his service.”
The race was, at the end, a very brutal race, with accusations flying between Lujan Grisham and Griego. It came after an Albuquerque Journal poll found the race as a dead heat.
Then a Super PAC that backed Griego attacked Lujan Grisham on poor care at Fort Bayard Medical Center, including deaths of elderly patients, Lujan Grisham responded with a withering attack on Griego’s past, including multiple bench warrants for failure to appear in court for traffic violations.
The Griego campaign never really recovered from there.
He continued his attacks on Lujan Grisham for Fort Bayard and for her failure to pay taxes on time, but Lujan Grisham had all the momentum at the end of the race. Lujan Crisham capitalized and goes into the general election as a favorite against Arnold-Jones, as the district has been trending Democratic in recent years.
The victory by Lujan Grisham means that the 1st Congressional District will once again have a woman representing the district.
Martin Heinrich, the current congressman from the district, easily won the Democratic U.S. Senate primary and will face Heather Wilson, who trounced Greg Sowards in the Republican U.S. Senate primary. Wilson served as the congresswoman for the district before Heinrich.
It will be interesting to see how quickly and enthusiastically Griego and Chavez get behind Lujan Grisham for the general election. Five months is a long time to mend fences.
Notably, neither the National Republican Campaign Committee or Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee bothered to put out a press release about the race, a sign that it is not on the radar of either group’s targets or potential targets.
The DCCC actually did put out a release. NM Telegram regrets the oversight.
“Washington Republicans would have a loyal ally in Janice Arnold-Jones to push massive cuts to Medicare while they protect tax breaks for millionaires, Big Oil and companies that ship American jobs overseas,” said Jesse Ferguson of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Janice Arnold-Jones would be just another vote for the extreme House Republicans agenda – repeatedly choosing tax breaks for millionaires and corporations over Mew Mexico’s seniors and middle class.”