SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – After being selected by President Joe Biden, New Mexico’s now former Democratic Congresswoman Deb Haaland has been officially sworn in as the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. Haaland made her final speech on the House floor and submitted her letter of resignation from the U.S. House of Representatives on March 16.

Haaland’s new role leaves a vacancy in the position representing New Mexico’s Congressional District 1. On June 1, 2021, voters across central New Mexico will choose who will replace Haaland in Congress through a special election.

Important Dates

  • May 15-29, 2021 – 17 Early Voting centers open. All locations open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday-Saturday.
  • May 18, 2021 – Deadline for clerk to receive a request for absentee ballot application
  • May 25, 2021 – Recommended final day for voter to mail absentee ballot
  • June 1, 2021 – Election Day 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Meet the Candidates

CD1 Candidates

Candidates who’ve been selected by a major party’s State Central Committee as the party’s representative, qualified to appear on ballot as independent, or qualified for write-in candidacy:

Aubrey Dunn (I) / Rancher, former State Land Commissioner

Website | Facebook

Chris Manning (L) / Veteran, auditor

Facebook | Twitter | KRQE “Meet the Candidates” Profile

Laura Olivas (Write-In)

Robert Ornelas (Write-In)

How the Special Election Will Work

  • MARCH 17, 2021: Secretary of State issues proclamation declaring special election.
    • Each qualified political party (Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians) is expected to nominate a single candidate to fill the vacancy.
    • Nominations from major political parties are decided by each party’s “state central committee,” (SCC) a group of party representatives. (Each party’s committee varies in size.)
  • APRIL 6, 2021: Candidacy declarations, write-in petition and nominating petitions must be filed with Secretary of State.
    • Items required to qualify for this position must be filed in-person, no later than 5 pm April 6, 2021, otherwise known as “Candidate Filing Day.” Items cannot be pre-filed or filed at a later time.

Key voting timeline dates

  • May 4, 2021: 28 days before the special election, county clerks may begin mailing absentee ballots, and early in-person voting begins.
  • May 15, 2021: Additional early voting locations open.
  • May 18, 2021: Last day to submit an absentee request for domestic mail ballots.
  • May 25, 2021: Last day that Military-Overseas voters can submit an absentee (for secure electronic transmission of the ballot; if the federal qualified elector is requesting that a ballot be sent by mail, the request must be made by the deadline of May 18).
  • May 29, 2021: Last day of early voting.
  • June 1, 2021: Election Day. Polling locations will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Voters may vote in-person at any of the locations within their registered county. Voters who have requested an absentee ballot may also return their sealed absentee ballot to a polling location within their registered county, no later than 7 p.m. on Election night.
  • June 22, 2021: The State Canvass Board will meet and certify the election.

To register to vote, update your voter registration, request an absentee ballot, or for additional information, visit

Who’s Running?

Each “State Central Committee” (SCC) for New Mexico’s designated major political parties can select a single candidate to represent their party. On March 27, the New Mexico Republican Party selected New Mexico state Senator Mark Moores of Albuquerque to represent the party in the special election.

At a March 27 meeting, the Libertarian Party of New Mexico selected U.S. veteran and auditor Chris Manning to represent the party in the special election. Following an initial vote that narrowed the field of candidates to two top contenders Tuesday, The Democratic Party of New Mexico’s state central committee selected Rep. Melanie Stansbury as the party’s candidate of choice during a runoff election held Wednesday, March 31.

After 40 years of Republican control between 1969 and 2009, New Mexico’s first Congressional district has remained in Democratic control. In a recent interview with KRQE News, University of New Mexico Political Science Professor Gabe Sanchez projected the possibility for a more competitive race for the seat than in recent years.

“This has traditionally been a Democratic-leaning seat over the past few election cycles, but you’re opening the door for an open race,” Sanchez said. “That means Republicans have a greater opportunity to steal this seat than they would if Congresswoman Haaland was to retain her seat as an incumbent for it.”

Prior candidates who announced intent to run, but were not selected to represent a major party:

Eddy Aragon (R) / Talk Radio Host


Francisco Fernandez (D) / Film & TV professional, social justice advocate

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Selinda Guerrero (D) / Community Organizer

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Georgene Louis

Rep. Georgene Louis (D) / State Representative

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Ronnie Lucero (R) / Albuquerque


Randi McGinn (D) / Attorney

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Peggy Muller Aragon (R) / APS Board Member, retired teacher


Victor Reyes (D) / Gov. Lujan Grisham’s Legislative Director

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D) / State Representative

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Antoinette Sedillo Lopez

Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez (D) / State Senator

Website | Facebook | Twitter

New Mexico Congressional District 1

New Mexico Congressional District Map

Population 691,229

4,601 sq miles