The 2024 Republican State Pre-Primary Convention & State Central Committee Meeting—Register HERE.


Albuquerque, February 14—In this session, legislators presented four bills to create an “open primary,” meaning voters do not have to affiliate with the political party of the primary they vote in.

The Republican Party of New Mexico does not support “open primaries” as described in SB 73SJR 7SB 175, and HB 54. RPNM also opposes rank-choice voting and eliminating Pre-Primary Conventions.

RPNM opposes an open primary for the following reasons:

  • An open primary creates the vulnerability of “crossover” voting, where members of another party may try to influence their opponent party’s nomination. Sabotage could arise from this vulnerability allowing opponents to nominate a weaker candidate who is easier for them to defeat in the general election.
  • In 2019, The New Mexico Supreme Court shot down a legal challenge by former Democratic Attorney General Paul Bardacke, upholding New Mexico’s right to a closed primary.
  • States where the open primary has been adopted express regret later but once implemented, it is nearly impossible to reverse.

Supporters of the open primary process point to an ever-growing “Decline to State” or Independent body of voters who do not get to participate in the primary. However, “Same Day Registration” in New Mexico covers this. It allows registered Independent and Decline to State voters to affiliate with a major party and vote in that party’s primary at any voting location up until election day.

The most important reason we support a closed primary system is so that voters will align with a political party that represents their values and belief systems. Those who do not align with the Republican Party platform of values should not be able to decide the candidate who will represent our party. We cannot diminish our Republican voice and values of faith, family, and freedom by implementing open primaries.

  • JH Cole says:

    Good grief, I agree with Pearce, Barela and Skaggs on an issue! Long ago, NM decided primary voting is not a right but a privilege arising from registering with a party, and that still makes sense.

    GOP leaders are wrong on ranked-choice voting, though, because it encourages candidates to appeal beyond their base to a wider spectrum of voters. The current system keeps MAGA extremists atop the GOP and the GOP a shrinking minority in the state–and NM would be better off with a functioning GOP instead of the MAGA cult.

    (Way back when Hawai`i had open primaries and I was an irrelevant Republican I voted in Dem primaries because the winners won the general. This makes me think open primaries would hurt Dems the most in NM.)

  • ENDGOPNOW says:

    Closed Primaries help cement single party rule in a state, just look next door to Texas. In Texas if you live anywhere outside of Austin or San Antonio Republicans control all offices from governor to dog catcher. If you dont get to vote in the Republican primary in Texas then you just don’t get to vote because the Democrat candidate even if there is one, is destine to loose.

    Fun fact the biggest issue facing American is not the price of eggs. The most pressing issue for all of us, is the decay of the GOP into a fascist cult and the fact that millions of conservatives no longer inhabit reality.

    The GOP across the country including RPNM cant field candidates that support democracy or the Constitution. The GOP has no policy positions anymore only culture war nonsense. When these anti-American cartoon villains loose at the polls they say the election was stolen from them without evidence and the GOP is silent. Two glaring examples of these leadership failures is the GOP reaction to J6 and RPNM’s reaction to Solomon Pena’s election denying shooting rampage in ABQ.

    GOP leadership’s inability to stand up to Trump has broken the party and is on the verge of bringing the country to civil war. It’s really past time for new leadership in the GOP, the party should be abolished.

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