In a state where the Hispanic population grew by nearly a quarter during the last decade, having a prominent Hispanic candidate on the ballot could prove to be a boost for Republican chances in the general election. But Sanchez is not without his weaknesses: during his 2002 campaign, Sanchez was attacked by opponents for employing illegal immigrants
at his roofing company.
The Democratic race is shaping up to be a two-candidate race as well, as Rep, Martin Heinrich
, D-N.M., and state auditor Hector Balderas
are facing off is what is also looking like a competitive contest. Activist Andres Valdez
, a minor candidate, is also running in the Democratic race.
Executive Editor Josh Kraushaar wrote in April
about the likelihood of heated primaries in both parties that would pit a white candidate favored by the establishment against up-and-coming Hispanic challenger, which is what we are now seeing in New Mexico.