By Carol A. Clark
Several candidates at today’s GOP Pre-Primary Convention at the Crowne Plaza in Albuquerque were assured top spots on the ballot for the June Primary election.
Longtime local and state Republican Party leader JoAnn Johnson was a delegate at today’s convention.
“About 800 people attended this very well organized event,” said Johnson who is campaign coordinator for U.S. Senatorial candidate Heather Wilson in Los Alamos County. “Lt. Gov. John Sanchez nominated Heather and the entire hall broke out in applause.”
Sanchez recently dropped out of the senate race and threw his support to Wilson.
Wilson was the big winner of the day with 83 percent of the vote. Wilson’s opponent Greg Sowards, a Las Cruces businessman, received 17 percent.
Johnson reported that in Congressional District 3, which includes Los Alamos, Taos businessman Rick Newton garnered 65 percent of the vote. Opponent Jeff Byrd received 35 percent.
Janice Arnold Jones won in Congressional District 1 with 62 percent. Dan Lewis received 33 percent followed by Gary Smith with 4 percent, Johnson said.
Rep. Steve Pearce ran unopposed in the 2nd congressional district and won the delegates’ support by acclamation.
Candidates must receive the support of 20 percent of the delegates at the state convention in order to win an official spot on the June primary ballot.
Candidates who fail to garner 20 percent support can go out and obtain signatures on a petition to get their name placed on the ballot.
Twelve delegates attended today’s event from Los Alamos including Jim Hall, JoAnn Johnson, Jordan Redmond, Bill Redmond by proxy, Vincent Chiravalle, Norma Tech, Marie Todd, Veronica Rodriguez, Norman Wilson, Mike Weaver, Heather McClenahan and Francine Mendoza.
Apart from voting on which candidates they believe should move on to the Primary Election in June, the delegates represented the Los Alamos County Republican Party at the Pre-Primary Convention, passed resolutions and conducted other party business.