The New Mexico primary has implications for the legislature and the prosecutor in the Alec Baldwin case

SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico voters will choose their partisan favorites in Tuesday's primaries to overhaul a Democratic-led Legislature, with all 112 seats up for election in November.

The votes in the first Senate elections since redistricting in 2021 will be retained implications for Native American communitiesthe the state's oil industry and the #MeToo movement.

New Mexico has a closed primary system that limits participation to voters who register with major parties, excluding independent or unaffiliated voters but not libertarians.

Reaching the general election may depend on narrow margins due to generally low turnout. About 117,000 ballots were cast during early and absentee voting before Tuesday, out of about 1.3 million registered voters.

Democrats are choosing prosecutors in crime-ridden Albuquerque and the Santa Fe area, where Alec Baldwin will stand trial in July for the fatal shooting of a cameraman.

In Senate District 30, activist Angel Charley of the Coalition to End Violence Against Indigenous Women seeks the Democratic nomination against pro-business, socially conservative former Senator Clemente Sanchez in a redesigned neighborhood with more Indian influence.

Charley is Diné, with Laguna and Zuni Pueblo ancestry. There are no Republican contenders in the district that stretches from Isleta Pueblo near Albuquerque to the Arizona state line, which crosses Acoma and Laguna Pueblos.

In House District 69, incumbent Democratic Rep. Harry Garcia of Grants to a fifth term, with two challengers in the decisive primaries. They are: attorney Michelle “Paulene” Abeyta of To'hajiilee of the Navajo Nation, and state employee and miner Stanley Michael of San Mateo. Two-thirds of the district's registered voters identify as Native American.

Democratic primaries could unseat prosecutors in crime-ridden Albuquerque and Santa Fe, where special prosecutors are preparing to put Alec Baldwin on trial in July on involuntary manslaughter charges.

District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies did that promised to hold Baldwin accountable for the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Former prosecutor Marco Serna hopes to dethrone her.

In Albuquerque, incumbent District Attorney Sam Bregman, an appointee of the governor, is running for the Democratic nomination to keep the seat against Damon Martinezwho served under President Barack Obama as U.S. Attorney for New Mexico.

The Democratic primary in Senate District 15 offers a reckoning over sexual harassment allegations.

Longtime centrist Democratic Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto faces progressive primary challenger Heather Berghmans in Albuquerque to compete with a Republican candidate in November. Ivey-Soto resigned as leader of the commission in 2022 allegations of sexual harassment and bullying behavior towards women. A complaint about his consulting work for county clerks and possible conflicts of interest was dismissed by the State Ethics Commission in May. The Albuquerque district extends from the intersection of Interstates 25 and 40 to the northeastern heights of the city.

In House District 18, four Democrats are vying for an open seat with no Republican competitors: doctor Anjali Taneja, nurse Gloria Doherty, computer technician Juan Larrañaga and Marianna Anaya. Anaya, an activist and lobbyist for progressive causes, previously accused Ivey-Soto of groping her at a hotel reception in 2015. The winner manages to defeat retiring Democratic Senator Bill Tallman in an eastern Albuquerque district along I-40.

In Senate District 42 and House District 62, Republicans compete as proponents of the oil industry and as conservative standard-bearers.

Oilman and state Rep. Larry Scott of Hobbs is competing with rancher and recently appointed state Sen. Steve McCutcheon of Carlsbad for control of a Senate district at the heart of southeastern New Mexico's oil economy. McCutcheon was tapped last year by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to succeed retiring Sen. Gay Kernan.

In an overlapping House district, three Republicans from Hobbs are vying to succeed Scott without competition from Democrats: Elaine Sena Cortez, Debra Hicks and attorney D'Nae Robinett Mills.

Republicans who supported Donald Trump's failed attempts to overturn the 2020 election seeking the GOP nomination in two Senate districts.

In District 12, Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block of Rio Rancho is competing against Albuquerque-based Republican Candace Gould for the chance to face Democrat Phillip Ramirez of Albuquerque in the compact city district. Block voted twice as commissioner in 2022 against certifying the results of local elections while questions arise about election integrity.

In District 9, Audrey Trujillo of Corrales is seeking the GOP nomination for an open seat next unsuccessfully run for the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2022. She applauded Trump's efforts to undo the will of voters in 2020. Frida Susana Vasquez of Rio Rancho sought the GOP nomination in the district stretching from Bernalillo to Algodones, including parts of Sandia Pueblo. Democrats are choosing between Heather Balas of Corrales and Cindy Nava of Bernalillo.

More than two dozen incumbents have primary challengers.

In Senate District 13, incumbent state Sen. Bill O'Neill of Albuquerque is vying for the Democratic nomination in a heavily redrawn district against another veteran politician: Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O'Malley. The district includes downtown Albuquerque.

In Senate District 3, Shannon Pinto of Tohatchi of the Navajo Nation is being challenged in a decisive Democratic primary by Sherylene Yazzie of Coyote Canyon. Pinto succeeded her grandfather, John Pinto, a World War II Navajo Code Talker and the state's longest-serving senator. The Northwestern District includes parts of the Navajo Nation and Gallup.

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