Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Macías wins Democratic primary for District Attorney in Doña Ana County • Source New Mexico

Fernando Macías, the former Doña Ana County manager who styled himself as a visionary and strong manager for a beleaguered office, won the Democratic nomination for district attorney Tuesday night. 

Macías’ victory spells the end of incumbent Gerald Byers’ term as 3rd Judicial District Attorney. Byers ran unsuccessfully to hold his seat, but was challenged by three Democrats who sought to dislodge him after four years.

“I believe I have crossed the finish line,” Macías said Tuesday night, noting that he wanted to wait until Wednesday morning to fully celebrate, given the close margin of victory he enjoyed in preliminary results reported the night of the primary. 

The New Mexico Secretary of State’s office showed that Macías beat his closest rival, attorney Shaharazad Booth, by 80 votes. 

Ramona Martinez, also an attorney, pulled in 2,315 votes (24 percent), while Byers got 858 (9 percent). 

Byers conceded his primary loss earlier in the night. 

“The people have spoken. Best wishes to the successful general election candidate, and I’m looking forward to a smooth transition,” Byers said in statement sent to the Las Cruces Bulletin. 

Booth thanked her supporters at a watch party in Las Cruces Tuesday night, drawing applause when she stated they likely hadn’t heard the last of her. She told the Bulletin, however, that she did not foresee “running for office after office after office to see if one of them sticks.”

“This was the office that I know I can fix, and this is what I have every intention of fixing,” she said. 

Booth had made a point of her prior experience working in the 6th Judicial District Attorney’s office for her candidacy. Macías, for his part, is a former district judge as well as a former state legislator, who vowed to bring superior management to the office.

“It’s going to be great if he can go up and get us a budget that works,” Booth said of Macías Tuesday night, “but hopefully the charges are coming correctly out of his office.” 

The victory, once the primary results are certified, sets Macías up for the Nov. 5 general election contest against Republican Michael Cain, another Las Cruces defense attorney running to dislodge Byers.

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