Clockwise from left: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Lt. gov. Howie Morales, Attorney General-designate Raúl Torrez, Public Lands Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard, State Auditor-designate Joseph Maestas and State Treasurer-designate Laura Montoya. Photos: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images, Lieutenant Governor’s Office, Bernalillo County DA, New Mexico State Land Office, courtesy of Joseph Maestas and Laura Montoya Campaigns
New Mexico has the most Latinos elected to state office of any state – and they are all Democrats.
- Hispanics will now hold almost all of the statewide offices in New Mexico.
The big picture: Democratic momentum in the state with the highest proportion of Hispanics demonstrates their state loyalty to the Democratic Party, despite some GOP wins in places like South Texas.
Details: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham won a second term this month with 52% of the vote, despite a major national GOP push for her Republican opponent, former TV forecaster Mark Ronchetti. Lt. gov. Howie Morales, also a Democrat, was also re-elected.
- Lujan Grisham became the third consecutive Hispanic governor of New Mexico to win re-election. No other state has elected three consecutive blacks to governorships.
- Raúl Torrez was elected Attorney General; Laura Montoya won the Treasurer race; Stephanie Garcia Richard was re-elected Commissioner of Public Lands; and Joseph Maestas took the place of State Examiner.
- Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver is the only non-Hispanic national officer.
Background: New Mexico, where approximately 48% of the population is Hispanic, has a long history of electing Latino candidates to state office.
- Ezequiel Cabeza de Baca, a former journalist, was the state’s first Hispanic governor in 1917, but he only served 49 days before dying of an illness.
- The state has had six other Hispanic governors since then.
today According to the state Legislative Council Service, Hispanics make up about 40% of the New Mexico legislature, the highest percentage of any state.
Yes but: The state was without a Latin American US Senator for 44 years until the 2020 election of Ben Ray Luján.
What you say: The latest generation of Latinos elected to state office is younger, Sisto Abeyta, a New Mexico Democratic agent, told Axios.
- The average age of New Mexico legislators used to be 65-70 years old, while many in office now are under 55, Abeyta said.
- “These Latinos have also formed alliances with white progressives, and they’ll probably be around for a while.”
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