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New Mexico Telegram » Featured, Governor, Treasurer » Morales wins pre-primary convention, two miss 20%

Morales wins pre-primary convention, two miss 20%

State Sen. Howie Morales won the Democratic pre-primary convention vote for governor on Saturday.

Businessman Alan Webber finished in second and also qualified for the ballot. Lawrence Rael finished in third, Linda Lopez finished in fourth and King in fifth.

Lopez and King did not qualify for the ballot, although they can still make the ballot with additional signatures. In the case of King, he already has enough signatures to make the ballot either way.

Like the other candidates, Morales barely mentioned his primary opponents and instead focused much of his criticism for Gov. Susana Martinez.

Morales told NM Telegram after the vote that he believed it was his passion and his message that resonated with voters — as well as the work that went into getting that message out from his volunteers and campaign staff.

Look for more on Morales’ discussion with NM Telegram tomorrow.

“Here’s a message for Susana Martinez and Jay McCleskey, her sidekick, we’re strong, we’re united, we’re mad as hell and we’re going to make you a one-term governor,” Webber told supporters.

Webber’s second place finish was a bit of a surprise.

The annual Democratic pre-primary convention was held at Route 66 Casino.

Morales finished with 426 votes, Webber had 314 votes, Lopez had 269 votes, Rael had 293 votes and King 153 votes.

The main goal for candidates is to get the votes of 20 percent of the delegates. This places them automatically on the ballot. The candidates who did not reach the 20 percent (which is really 19.5 percent since the party will round up) barrier will need to gather additional signatures to get to four percent of the total vote of the total vote of the party to make the ballot.

Lopez missed by less than two percent while Rael made the ballot by a little more than one percent.

The campaigns of Loepz and King will now have to decide whether or not to continue their campaign.

While King was speaking, there was very little support among the crowd was compared to other candidates.

The pre-primary also decides the order that candidates’ names will appear on the ballot.

No candidate has ever won a race after failing to reach 20 percent in a pre-primary convention.

State Treasurer

In the three-way state Treasurer pre-primary, two candidates qualified for the primary ballot.

State Sen. Tim Eichenberg received 757 votes out of 1,435 ballots for 52.75 percent. Former DPNM chair John Wertheim finished with 575 votes, or 40.07 percent. Padilla received 103 votes, or 7.18 percent.

Padilla will need to collect additional signatures to make the primary ballot.

Earlier, the party announced that Ben Ray Lujan and Roxanne Lara qualified for the ballot. Later, the party amended the numbers.

Slow Vote Counting

The vote counting went very slow — and it was likely in the sake of transparency. The way that votes counted resembled a recount — complete with challenges to individual ballots.

At one point they announced there were 43 provisional and disputed ballots — nearly three percent of the final votes.

They did not begin counting votes until after the candidates for Treasurer spoke — even though a vast majority of the delegates had voted. Many had already left.

But a Democratic pre-primary convention is always a day-long event. A long day.

Written by

Matthew Reichbach has blogged about New Mexico politics since 2006. Matthew was a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and part of the original hirings at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation. In addition to politics, Matthew is an avid sports fan, especially of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and TV fan.

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