Under New Mexico law, the state’s governor and lieutenant governor are forced to coexist in a sort of arranged marriage. Each runs in a separate primary election. This means major-party candidates for governor have no direct say-so about who will become their running mate in the general election. More importantly, says state Sen. Mark Moores, the system creates the very real possibility that the governor and lieutenant governor might not get along or agree on policy. So Moores, R-Albuquerque, and Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Albuquerque, have introduced a bill to change the way lieutenant governor candidates are selected. Their proposal, Senate Bill 178, would eliminate primary elections for lieutenant governor.
Instead, after a major party nominated its candidate for governor in a primary, the party would establish a method of its own to select the lieutenant governor candidate.
Moores said the party might call a convention to make the selection, or it could empower the gubernatorial nominee to choose his or her own running mate, similar to what happens with presidential tickets.