New Mexico voters are set Tuesday to select candidates for two open congressional seats.
Voters in the states central and southern districts will decide which Democrats and Republicans will run for two seats that could determine which parties control the U.S. House of Representatives.
The seats are open because both Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Rep. Steve Pearce stepped down to run for governor.
Former U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez, former state Democratic Party chairwoman Debra Haaland, former law professor Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, attorney Damian Lara and business consultant Paul Moya are seeking the Democratic nomination for Lujan Grisham's Albuquerque-based seat.
The race has hinged on which candidate is the most liberal and who has the best ground game.
Republican Janice Arnold-Jones, a former state lawmaker, is running unopposed in the GOP primary.
In southern New Mexico, former Hobbs Mayor Monty Newman, state Rep. Yvette Herrell and former Trump appointee Gavin Clarkson are seeking the GOP nod.
Water attorney Xochitl Torres Small and U.S. Coast Guard veteran Madeline "Mad" Hildebrandt are vying for the Democratic nomination.
Democrats have long targeted the heavily Hispanic district along the U.S.-Mexico border where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans. But it has remained in GOP hands largely due to the popularity of Pearce.
During his tenure, Pearce garnered support from Hispanics and the region's oil and gas interests.
The most Hispanic congressional district in the most Hispanic state, the district's conservative-leaning independents have intricate views on water, immigration, international trade and oil production. That makes any election outcome difficult to predict in this region of oil wells and rural mountain communities.
Democrats for years have tried to win back the seat. It briefly flipped in 2008 during the first presidential election of Barack Obama.
This article was written by cool news network.