Tag: Martin Heinrich

New Mexico LP to Sue State Over Straight Party Voting

By Spencer Kellogg | @Spencer_Kellogg

Hot off the heels of Gary Johnson polling second in an Emerson Poll and receiving the endorsement of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, New Mexico state officials are doing everything in their power to help Democrat incumbent Martin Heinrich win in November. Reinstating the outdated practice of straight party voting, the electoral measure allows voters to select a single box that fills in their entire ballot for one political party. Opponents of the ruling believe it creates an overwhelming partisan advantage in a state that is decidedly Democrat.

The Libertarian Party of New Mexico has authorized funding to file a lawsuit against Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver after she announced on Wednesday that New Mexico voters will have the option to vote straight party in the November General Election. In a press release from Toulouse Oliver’s office, the Democrat put a positive spin on the new choice for New Mexico voters: “The more options people have, the easier it is for more eligible voters to participate–and participation is the key to our democratic process.”

Chris Luchini, State Chair of the New Mexico Libertarian Party, doesn’t see it that way. “It is a straight attack at NMLP, third parties and specifically Gary Johnson. A lot of Democrats are crossing the line to vote for him and it’s obvious what this is all about, which is knocking Johnson out of the race.” Luchini pointed out that New Mexico revoked straight party voting in 2012 and that legislation to implement the voting measure had recently failed.

In an email sent to Reason, Johnson was stern in his suggestion that straight party voting is a “short-cut to partisanship.” What’s obvious to anyone watching the race is that this measure reeks of political maneuvering by the Democratic machine that owns New Mexico. Had Gary Johnson not entered the field as a Libertarian polling over 20%, would we expect to see such a rash move from the Secretary of State? It is hard to believe so.

Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat, held no public hearings on the voting changes and has campaigned throughout the state in favor of re-instating straight party voting. The Republican Party called the action a “potentially illegal power grab” and has also announced intentions to file suit against the Secretary of State. Helen Milenski, Vice Chair of the New Mexico LP, posted a link on Twitter to a legal fees fund.


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Rand Paul Endorses Gary Johnson In Senate Race

By James Sweet III | United States

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is endorsing Gary Johnson (L-NM) in his bid to become the next Senator from New Mexico.

The race currently has a Republican candidate, but he is trailing behind Johnson in recent polls. Gary Johnson served as Governor of New Mexico as a Republican, and was the Libertarian Party’s candidate for President in 2012 and 2016.

If more Republicans continue to throw their support behind Gary Johnson, Mick Rich, the Republican candidate, could be pressured into dropping out to ensure that the Democrat incumbent does not win the election.

Rand Paul and Gary Johnson both advocate for small government and fiscal responsibility, so the shock lies in the fact that Rand Paul is endorsing a Libertarian candidate despite being a Republican. Rand Paul has strayed from the party before, however, so it’s not outside of his comfort zone to do this.

If Johnson wins, he could possibly become a swing vote in the Senate if the Democrats pick up more seats in the Midterm Elections. Right now, Democratic incumbent Martin Heinrich is leading the race, but Gary Johnson has only been rising in recent polls.

Rich, the Republican nominee, is a construction contractor that is new to the political sphere. He states on his campaign page that he knows “how to create jobs and grow businesses”. If Rich does adhere to the pressure and support Gary Johnson, it is likely and possible that Johnson could become the Libertarian Party’s senator from New Mexico.


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Gary Johnson Will “Very Likely” Enter New Mexico Senate Race

By Drew Zirkle | New Mexico

The New Mexico Senate race, a competition that was previously thought to be a predictable stroll for incumbent Sen. Martin Heinrich (D), is expected to change drastically in the coming hours and days. Gary Johnson, prominent Libertarian Presidential candidate & former Republican Governor of the state is expected to enter the race soon.

The current candidate that the Libertarian Party is fielding for Senate, Aubrey Dunn, is expected to relinquish the nomination for the race today at 2:30 PM EST according to the chair of the NM LP, Chris Luchini. This will allow the New Mexican Libertarian Party the opportunity to nominate a new candidate for the upcoming general election in November. Luchini has confirmed that the New Mexico Libertarian Party Central Committee has already scheduled a meeting for this coming Saturday to choose a replacement candidate to run for Senate.

When reached by phone, Luchini stated that he spoke with Gary Johnson earlier today and that Johnson was “very interested in considering getting into the race.” Luchini also stated that there were no other candidates interested in running and that the central committee was ready to “offer [Johnson] the position.”

This development comes at an incredibly crucial time for the Libertarian Party, as the New Mexico LP has reportedly received an incredible increase in donations and interest for the upcoming Senate race. In addition to the increasing strength of the Libertarian Party, the GOP is facing difficulties in this particular race. The GOP candidate, Mick Rich, has no political experience, is polling very poorly, and has reportedly only raised around $650,000. Additionally, according to an unnamed source, Mick Rich refused to accept campaign donations at a recent campaign event in Los Alamos, leading to some speculation that Mick Rich may drop out of the race, leaving the Senate race wide open for a potentially powerful Johnson campaign to take on Heinrich.

Regardless of whether Mick Rich drops or not, his campaign is beginning to flounder, with most polling data putting him under 40% despite the fact that most GOP candidates are competitive in statewide races in New Mexico. Gary Johnson, a popular former Governor and a recurring figure in national politics, is expected to have a competitive advantage over Rich. Johnson is also expected to be a problem for Martian Heinrich, as Johnson’s familiarity with voters and established base of support ought to give him an energized base of support at the onset of his campaign.

Although Johnson has not publicly announced his intention to run for the Senate seat yet, it is abundantly clear that the Libertarian Party of New Mexico is preparing for Johnson to take up the torch behind the scenes. Furthermore, social media groups have sprung up on Facebook and Twitter suggesting that Johnson’s team is gearing up for the announcement. This preparation combined with Johnson privately confiding his interest in running indicates that in the coming days, Johnson is likely to launch a formal bid and this previously quiet Senate race will turn into one of the wildest races to watch this November.


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