Lujan Grisham and Pearce Will Face Off in N.M. Governor’s Race

Lujan Grisham easily wins Democratic nomination; Pearce ran unopposed

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., won the Democratic nomination for the state's governor's race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Mexico’s governor’s race will have two members of Congress competing against each other after Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham won the Democratic gubernatorial primary Tuesday.

With nearly all the vote counted, Lujan Grisham was projected to win the three-way Democratic primary on Tuesday with 66 percent of the vote, according to The Associated Press.

On the Republican side, Rep. Steve Pearce ran unopposed. Not having a primary opponent allowed Pearce to build his campaign war chest to about $1.9 million.

The two members are running to succeed outgoing Gov. Susana Martinez.

Lujan Grisham beat businessman Jeff Apodaca and state Sen. Jeff Cervantes.

Her opponents said Lujan Grisham had a conflict of interest because of her business dealings with the company that manages the state’s insurance program for people with expensive medical conditions. But Lujan Grisham dismissed the criticisms of her candidacy.

“The Russians and Wikileaks could learn some things about how to spread falsehoods and phony stories,” Lujan Grisham said, adding they would be “nothing compared to the negative campaign of distortion and lies we are likely to see from the national Republican Party.”

She also criticized President Donald Trump, who only won 40 percent of the vote in 2016.

“Do we want our state to be defined by the bankrupt and intolerant values of Donald Trump?” she said. “Do we want the values of hyperpartisanship and obstruction that we see in the tea party Congress that Steve Pearce has embraced?”

Lujan Grisham has a considerable amount of campaign money, with $1.1 million by the end of last month.

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