Convention Photo Contributed by Scott Strelecki
Howie Morales wins NM Democratic pre-primary nod for governor
In an article by Rob Nikolewski, found on New Mexico Watchdog, he announces that state Sen. Howie Morales of Silver City came out No. 1 at the New Mexico Democratic Party pre-primary convention.
Morales came out on top in a five-way race for the most delegates in the gubernatorial race leading up to the Democratic primary on June 6.
Here are the results from more than 1,400 votes cas
*Howie Morales 29.28 percent 
*Alan Webber 21.58 percent
*Lawrence Rael 20.13 percent
*Linda Lopez 18.48 percent
*Gary King 10.51 percent
One of the important numbers to keep in mind is 20 percent. Candidates who reach that number are automatically placed on the statewide ballot. Candidates who don’t must submit additional signatures from registered voters to get on the ballot.
King was not on hand in the auditorium by the time party leaders announced the results after taking about three hours to count Saturday’s pre-primary ballots but his campaign said earlier in the day that King has already picked up 10,361 signatures — enough to put him on the ballot.
State Sen. Linda Lopez of Albuquerque fell just shy of the 20 percent mark. “I don’t have a comment right now,” Lopez told a pair of reporters after the vote totals were announced. “I need to talk to my (campaign) people.”
As for Morales, who has served in the Legislature since 2008, he said he was not surprised by his first-place finish.
“I expected to win,” said Morales, a former high school baseball coach. “That’s because I knew the preparation going in there, the amount of work, but that’s the competitor in me, that’s the coach in me, to always expect the best.”
Webber, a businessman from Santa Fe who has never held political office in New Mexico, told delegates, “I know what it takes to turn bold ideas into new realities … I’ve signed both sides of a paycheck. I’ll create 70,000 new jobs in my first term.”
Rael, a former chief administrative officer for the City of Albuquerque, cleared the 20 percent mark by just a handful of votes. Party officials said the results won’t be certified until Tuesday.
“The stakes are very high in this race,” Rael told the crowd. “I’m running for governor because I care. I care deeply.”
Update 3/9: Danny Diaz, spokesman for the Martinez campaign, responded by referring to a recent letter sent to the governor’s supporters that said, in part: “Democrats had very little to offer regarding a plan to create new jobs or how they intend to challenge the status quo and improve education in the state; instead, their political rhetoric will concentrate on the most radical elements of their party and incorporate a venomous tone that divides people.  In one way or another, they are all promising to return to the failed policies of Bill Richardson.”
Here are the results in the other contested races Saturday:
US House of Representatives, Congressional District 2
Roxanne “Rocky” Lara 85.18 percent
Leslie Endean-Singh 14.82 percent
When approached after the results were announced Endean-Singh said she had no comment about whether she’ll stay in the race.
US House of Representatives, Congressional District 3
Ben Ray Luján 98.43 percent
Robert Blanch 1.57 percent
State Treasurer
Tim Eichenberg 52.75 percent
John Wertheim 40.07 percent
Patrick Padilla 7.18 percent
- See more at: http://newmexico.watchdog.org/20752/howie-morales-wins-nm-democratic-pre-primary-nod-for-governor/#sthash.a7mitwSv.dpuf

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