Democrat Maggie Toulouse Oliver has won the race to be New Mexico’s next secretary of state.
Oliver isn’t yet declaring victory, but NMPolitics.net has decided to call the race. With more than nearly 419,000 votes counted, the Secretary of State’s website shows Oliver with 59.46 percent of the vote. Republican Nora Espinoza has 40.54 percent.
Oliver, currently the Bernalillo County Clerk, will replace Brad Winter in January. Winter was appointed to finish former Secretary of State Dianna Duran’s term after Duran was convicted of using campaign funds for personal use.
“Thank you to everyone who pitched in to make this victory happen. Every volunteer, every donor and every voter made a difference in this election,” Oliver said in a statement released by her campaign. “Thank you to the people of New Mexico for supporting this campaign for reform.”
“Now we begin the work of ensuring integrity and accountability in the secretary’s office and throughout government in New Mexico,” Oliver said.
In a September profile by NMPolitics.net, Oliver also pledged to work to increase voter turnout if elected.
“I’ve long had a passion for voter rights and voter education and encouraging people to participate in the democratic process,” she said.
Oliver’s victory is follows a turbulent campaign. She and Espinoza each had several ethics complaints filed against them. All complaints were investigated and subsequently dropped.
Rod Adair, spokesman for Espinoza’s campaign, said she called Oliver at 9:30 p.m. “and wished her the best.”
This article has been updated with Oliver’s statement and Adair’s statement.