By Spencer Butler / Daily Lobo
Nov. 3, 2020 may become in retrospect one of the most consequential days in U.S. political history, as 131 million voters turned out to vote on not only the presidential election but the smaller statewide races that happened across the country.
This includes New Mexico, where voters weighed in on a number of judiciary members and state Supreme Court candidates.
While the races within the judicial branch had multiple Republican challengers, the Democratic candidates still managed to hold on to their seats — in some cases, by the slimmest of margins.
In the two New Mexico Supreme Court races, the incumbent justices — Shannon Bacon and David K. Thomson — both won re-election and will keep their seats on the state’s highest court.
With all state precincts reporting, the unofficial results show that both won by at least eight percentage points and will keep the Supreme Court at a 4-1 majority in favor of the Democrats.
The rest of the judicial races also swung in favor of the other Democratic justices, seeing Zach Ives, Shammara H. Henderson and Jane B. Yohalem keep their positions on the Court of Appeals.
While all three Court of Appeals races were close, the tightest was between Yohalem and her Republican challenger Thomas C. Montoya.
Based on unofficial results that have yet to be certified by the Secretary of State, Yohalem won by a margin of just over 25,000 votes, edging Montoya 51-49%.
The only race with three contestants was more sharply delineated, as Henderson finished nine percentage points ahead of Republican candidate Gertrude Lee. Libertarian challenger Stephen P. Curtis ended with 7% of the vote, and Henderson cruised to a simple victory in the three-legged tie.
Ives also endured a close race with his Republican challenger Barbara V. Johnson, with Ives winning by 37,024 votes.
Jacqueline R. Medina also kept her seat on the Court of Appeals in a retaining, unopposed vote, with 73% of ballots cast in her favor.
Spencer Butler is a beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SpencerButler48