On Tuesday, Nov. 8, midterms dawned on New Mexico, and Democratic candidate Maggie Toulouse Oliver emerged victorious in the 2022 secretary of state race over Republican opponent Audrey Mendonca-Trujillo.
Toulouse Oliver has served as the secretary of state since 2016; this will be her second term. Toulouse Oliver was unable to be in person at the event due to her duties as the current secretary of state. However, her campaign manager Dylan McArthur was there to represent her.
“She's not at her office this year due to the sort of recent threats to election officials, none that have prompted her to go, but she just made it safe for her and her staff,” McArthur said. “So she's not at this political election party because she's busy making sure the elections run smoothly and the council tabulators are accurate.”
Toulouse Oliver previously served as county clerk for Bernalillo County in 2007 and served two and a half terms until she was elected secretary of state. The secretary of state is primarily in charge of administering elections, among other duties relating to maintaining legislative and business records, according to the secretary of state’s website.
“We were talking to voters as much as we could, so what that looks like is traveling a lot,” McArthur said. “But also what that looks like is fundraising so we can communicate on TV, as well as social media and you know, paid advertisements and newspapers and stuff like that.”
Zack Quintero, a former New Mexico candidate for state auditor, praised Toulouse Oliver’s work throughout the campaign.
“She ran an election with integrity for democracy, not for the farce,” Quintero said.
McArthur had his own proudest moments from the campaign working on the other side of it from an everyday citizen.
“So, personally, one of the things I'm most proud about is that we've monopolized labor support,” McArthur said. “She's a big proponent of the working class and just making sure that the policies she's advocating for on behalf of them and so to have their support, just meant a lot.”
Emma Hotz, a former University of New Mexico student and Associated Students at UNM senator who is now working as the operations director for Toulouse Oliver’s campaign, had advice to students, especially those interested in politics, on how to get involved while in college.
“Don't be hesitant to just start volunteering and start (getting) involved in any way possible. Whether it's just like smaller elections, or a statewide election like this one,” Hotz said. “It's always like a good opportunity to just kind of learn about it and get involved.”
Oliver sent out a written statement after her win.
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“The 2022 general election was successful because of the dedicated coordinated efforts of many individuals and agencies, including all 33 county clerks and their staff, poll workers, vendors, and our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners,” Toulouse Oliver wrote. “Multiple levels of security and accountability are built into our election process to ensure every vote counts, and the public should remain wary of misinformation about the election that is likely to circulate in the coming days as the canvassing process occurs over the next weeks.”
Elizabeth Secor is a beat reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @esecor2003
Gabriel Saiz is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @gsaiz83