- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 8, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on Legislative primary races in New Mexico (all times local):

1:20 p.m.

New Mexico election officials are preparing to recount ballots in two primary elections for the state House of Representatives that were too close to call.

Kari Fresquez of the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office said Wednesday that two races finished within a margin of less than 1 percent that triggers a recount.

Based on unofficial results, Republican Vicki Chavez led Scott Chandler by 12 ballots out of 1,764 counted. The winner of that race will run against Democrat Candie Sweetser of Deming in November.

Democrat Mary Hotvedt of Pinos Altos led Karen Whitlock by 31 votes out of 3,487 counted. The winner will run against Republican Rebecca Dow of Truth or Consequences.

The recounts still must be authorized by the New Mexico State Canvassing Board.


3:20 a.m.

Democrats have ousted one incumbent Albuquerque lawmaker as both major parties locked in legislative nominees to compete in fall elections that could determine which party controls New Mexico’s House of Representative and Senate.

Of nine incumbent Democrats tested by primary challengers, only Rep. Idalia Lechuga-Tena was voted out of her southeast Albuquerque state House seat in a three-way primary on Tuesday. Unofficial results showed math teacher Debra Sarinana winning the nomination, with no Republicans running in the heavily Democratic district.

Republican incumbents in the Legislature went unchallenged, as the GOP focused its competitive energy on swing districts and wide-open seats vacated by incumbents.

As few as three legislative seats could change the balance of power in each chamber.

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