The Latest: Democrat takes back New Mexico auditor's office

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on the midterm election in New Mexico (all times local):

10 p.m.

Democrat Brian Colon has been elected to serve as New Mexico's next state auditor.

The Albuquerque attorney defeated Republican Wayne Johnson, who has served as auditor since 2017 when he was appointed to the post by Gov. Susana Martinez. Colon was able to significantly out-fundraise Johnson over the course of the campaign.

No stranger to politics, Colon once served as Democratic Party chairman. Winning the auditor's seat ends a political drought for him. Colon ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2010 and for Albuquerque mayor last year.

Colon has a finance degree and has represented business and governmental entities.

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9:45 p.m.

Longtime Court of Appeals Judge Michael Vigil has been elected to the New Mexico Supreme Court, unseating incumbent Justice Gary Clingman.

Vigil is a Democrat from Albuquerque. He has spent 15 years on the Court of Appeals.

Clingman served for more than 20 years as a judge in the 5th Judicial District before being appointed in April to fill a vacancy on the high court.

Both Vigil and Clingman were recommended by the Judicial Nominating Commission for consideration to fill this year's vacancy created by Justice Edward Chavez's retirement. Gov. Susana Martinez named Clingman.

Vigil also was on the recommendation list in 2015 after Justice Richard Bosson's retirement, but Judith Nakamura, a Republican, was appointed. She narrowly won a subsequent election against Vigil for that seat.

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9:25 p.m.

Incumbent Tim Eichenberg has won re-election to his post as New Mexico state treasurer.

The Democrat finished ahead of Republican challenger Arthur Castillo to retain control of a seat that historically has been under Democratic Party control. The statewide post in recent years has garnered little attention and minimal campaign donations.

The treasurer's office is responsible for monitoring state agencies' cash activity and for keeping track of the balances on hand so it can project how much money is available over the short and long term for investment.

Eichenberg is a former state senator and former Bernalillo County treasurer. During his time at the statehouse, he carried legislation that established a code of ethics for all government employees.

With his re-election, he plans to continue pushing for legislation that would make more transparent the investment fees paid by state agencies.

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9:10 p.m.

Democrat Maggie Toulouse Oliver has won re-election as New Mexico's secretary of state.

Toulouse Oliver finished ahead of Republican Gavin Clarkson and Libertarian Ginger Grider to win a second term as the state's top election official.

Toulouse Oliver was first elected secretary of state during a special election in November 2016 to finish the remainder of the term vacated by Republican Dianna Duran. She announced her bid for re-election in 2017, saying she wanted to continue implementing reforms of the state's campaign finance rules as well as increasing voter education in rural and Native American communities.

Toulouse Oliver made waves earlier this year when she tried to include the option of straight-party voting on this year's ballots. The New Mexico Supreme Court ended up blocking the move, but she vowed to continue looking for ways to increase voter registration and turnout.

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9:05 p.m.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan has won a sixth term representing northern New Mexico's 3rd District.

He defeated Republican Jerald Steve McFall and Libertarian Chris Manning on Tuesday. Lujan campaigned on efforts to advance immigration reform, expand Medicaid and address climate change.

Lujan has spearheaded efforts since 2014 to cut short Republican control of Congress as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He has long pushed for congressional candidates from diverse backgrounds.

McFall is an Angel Fire, New Mexico, farmer and political newcomer who waged an uphill battle in a district where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly 2-1. He ran on supporting immigration restrictions, opposing abortion and protecting young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

Manning is a businessman who ran on controlling spending.

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9 p.m.

Democrat Hector Balderas has been re-elected to a second term as New Mexico's top prosecutor in a three-way race against a Republican immigration attorney and an Albuquerque land and water rights attorney.

Balderas finished ahead of Michael Hendricks and A. Blair Dunn, who is known for representing ranchers and other rural New Mexicans.

Balderas, 45, maintained a clear fundraising lead over his opponents throughout the race. He's a former state lawmaker, former state auditor and a graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Law.

Balderas was first elected attorney general in 2014 after serving two terms as state auditor. In his first term, his office prosecuted high-profile cases against state politicians, including former Secretary of State Dianna Duran, a Republican, and former Democratic state Sen. Phil Griego.

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8:51 p.m.

Democratic Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham has won election as governor of New Mexico to succeed a two-term Republican amid simmering conflicts over struggling public schools and high poverty rates.

The reins of state government will pass from one Latina to another as termed-out Gov. Susana Martinez leaves office.

Lujan Grisham has been a leading critic in Congress of President Donald Trump's policies on immigration.

The 59-year-old former state health secretary defeated Republican Rep. Steve Pearce in a campaign focused on expanding preschool education, lowering crime rates and reducing poverty.

Lujan Grisham is embracing new investment in solar and wind energy and has pledged to comply with a court order to help poor and minority students.

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8:50 p.m.

New Mexico voters have approved a constitutional amendment that clears the way for the creation of an independent ethics commission.

The proposal was on the ballot this year after many years of debate in the Legislature over establishing such a panel to address complaints involving elected officials, public employees and others.

The state has had a string of public corruption scandals going back more than a decade, with two state treasurers, two state senators, a secretary of state and a deputy insurance superintendent going to prison on criminal charges.

Most recently, a former state taxation and revenue secretary is facing felony charges of embezzlement and using a position in government for personal gain.

The number of states with ethics commissions has steadily increased in recent years, leaving New Mexico as one of six without one, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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8:36 p.m.

Democrat Debra Haaland has defeated Republican Janice E. Arnold-Jones in a New Mexico U.S. House race, earning a groundbreaking congressional victory as a Native American woman and keeping an open seat under Democratic control.

Libertarian Lloyd J. Princeton also was seeking to represent the district that includes Albuquerque, New Mexico's largest city. The seat was open because incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham opted to run for New Mexico governor.

Haaland is an enrolled Laguna Pueblo member. She was one of a few Native American women seeking to become the first elected to Congress on Tuesday.

Republican Yvette Herrell, a member of the Cherokee Nation, is in a hotly contested race for another open U.S. House seat in New Mexico. And Democrat Sharice Davids, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, won a U.S. House seat in Kansas.

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7:50 p.m.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich has been re-elected in a three-way race against a Republican political newcomer and a Libertarian former governor.

The 47-year-old engineer and former Congressman won a second term, finishing ahead of construction contractor Mick Rich and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. Heinrich's victory further solidifies Democratic control over the state's Senate delegation.

Heinrich cast himself as a vigorous adversary of President Donald Trump's policies in the Senate, and campaigned on promises to defend federal health care and retirement programs.

Heinrich recently became an advocate for decriminalizing marijuana, co-opting one of Johnson's signature Libertarian issues against government interference. He derided Johnson's proposals to slash federal spending on Medicare, Medicaid and the military.

Rich ran on his reputation as a businessman while embracing Trump and voicing anti-abortion sentiments.

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5:50 p.m.

Candidates for governor of New Mexico are making last-minute appeals for support at polling places and restaurants in Albuquerque.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham stopped at a coffee house in the Barelas neighborhood Tuesday to eat and shake hands.

Campaign spokesman James Hallinan says Lujan Grisham voted in the afternoon along with family members at a middle school in a North Valley neighborhood.

Republican U.S. Rep and gubernatorial candidate Steve Pearce visited the polls in Albuquerque and stopped at a Vietnamese restaurant. He cast an early ballot weeks ago in his home town of Hobbs.

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5 p.m.

New Mexico's voter turnout numbers have surpassed those from the last midterm election in 2014 just hours before polls close.

New Mexico officials say more than 571,000 ballots have been cast by those who voted absentee, early in person or on Election Day. The numbers released by the New Mexico Secretary of State's Office reflect available voter data as of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The more than 375,000 votes cast at sites across the state before Tuesday accounted for the biggest share of ballots.

At least 132,500 people so far have voted on Election Day.

Nearly 520,000 people total voted in 2014.

More than 600,000 voted in 2010.

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3:15 p.m.

Hours before polls close, New Mexico's voter turnout numbers have surpassed those from the last midterm election in 2014.

New Mexico officials say more than 527,000 ballots have been cast by those who voted absentee, early in person or on Election Day. The numbers released by the New Mexico Secretary of State's Office reflect available voter data as of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The more than 375,000 votes cast at sites across the state before Tuesday accounted for the biggest share of ballots.

At least 89,000 people so far have voted on Election Day.

Registered Democrats comprise just more than half of the voters, casting 51 percent of ballots. Registered Republicans made up 34 percent of the electorate based on early numbers and independents accounted for 14 percent.

Nearly 520,000 people total voted in 2014.

More than 600,000 voted in 2010.

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1:25 p.m.

A Santa Fe resident says President Donald Trump has set the country on a violent and dangerous path.

Travis Moore, a 36-year-old technology worker and father, said he was voting Democratic in races for Congress, Senate, governor and statehouse representatives.

Moore said he's pretty much against all of what Trump does, including tax breaks for the rich and what he called "dog whistles for all kinds of racists stuff."

Moore said his wife works as a dentist in a public health clinic that relies on Medicaid funding. They fear that Republican plans to overturn the Affordable Care Act could affect her livelihood and undermine public access to health care in general.

Moore said he never considered himself to be a hard-core Democrat. Now he sees no other choice than voting Democrat in an effort to block the Republican majority on Congress.

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1:05 p.m.

A registered Republican from Bernalillo County says he is frustrated with the nation's polarizing political environment and wants to see members of both parties tackle issues where they have common ground.

Steve Baca, a 29-year-old server of legal notices for law firms told The Associated Press that one of those issues is criminal justice reform, which would involve reducing the nation's prison population and amending tough sentencing laws for non-violent drug offenders.

Baca said that's something both sides agree on "but they're too busy throwing stones at each other."

He said he voted for Republicans in all statewide and congressional races. In 2016, he voted for Libertarian Gary Johnson for president. He said the two issues most important to him were gun rights and lower taxes.

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12:50 p.m.

New Mexico officials say early voter data shows more than 37,000 ballots had been cast on Election Day by 10 a.m.

The early figure released by the New Mexico Secretary of State's Office brings the total number of people who have voted in the state through in-person early voting, absentee ballots, and Election Day voting to roughly 474,000. Democrats accounted for 51 percent of total ballots, while Republicans comprised 34 percent of voters.

Nearly 520,000 people total voted in 2014.

Before Tuesday, 2018 voter turnout shattered previous early voting records for midterm elections in New Mexico. In 2010, the last time the governor's seat was open, the number of early in-person and absentee voters was nearly 298,000.

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10:05 a.m.

A 23-year-old recent University of New Mexico grad says she voted for Republican Steve Pearce for governor largely because of his views on the state's struggling economy and his record as a businessman.

Vivianne Gonzalez told The Associated Press that Pearce shares her values on economic freedom and that considers him the best person to create jobs.

Gonzalez said she mainly voted for Republican candidates even though she's upset with some of President Donald Trump's decisions as president.

Gonzalez said she voted for Republican political newcomer Mick Rich for U.S. Senate over Democratic incumbent Sen. Martin Heinrich because Rich closely reflects her views on economic issues.

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9:45 a.m.

A 71-year-old retired chef who lives in the southern New Mexico border town of Columbus says he's angry that President Donald Trump and other Republicans are "using fear" to push for a border wall and immigration restrictions.

William Johnson says he was voting for Democrat Xochitl Torres Small who is running in a closely watched U.S. House race in the southern New Mexico and that he likes "like what she stands for."

Johnson says he especially likes that Torres Small isn't calling for the abolishment of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement like some liberal Democrats and was taking what Johnson considers a pragmatic approach to immigration and border security.

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7 a.m.

Voting is underway across New Mexico as polling locations open for Tuesday's midterm election.

Voters are picking the state's next governor, a U.S. senator, three U.S. House members and a string of statewide offices.

Democratic Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham and Republican Congressman Steve Pearce were vying to succeed termed-out Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.

A congressional district bordering Mexico is among the more competitive races in the state, with Republican state lawmaker Yvette Herrell facing Democratic attorney Xochitl Torres Small.

Polls are scheduled to close at 7 p.m., when absentee ballots also are due.

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11:40 a.m.

Polls are opening across New Mexico as voters decide on the state's next governor, a U.S. Senate seat, representation in Congress and a string of statewide offices.

Balloting began Tuesday as two member of Congress compete to be governor. Democratic Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham and Republican Congressman Steve Pearce were vying to succeed termed-out Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.

A congressional district bordering Mexico is among the more competitive races in state, with Republican state lawmaker Yvette Herrell facing Democratic attorney Xochitl Torres Small.

Polls are scheduled to close at 7 p.m., when absentee ballots also are due.

Election regulators say several independent groups have appointed election watchers and observers to safeguard against fraud and unintentional problems or conduct research.

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For AP's complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics

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