Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver announced Tuesday afternoon she was ending her bid in the Democratic primary for US Senate.
For now, that ends the contest for the Democratic primary in 2020 with US Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-NM, to replace outgoing US Sen. Tom Udall, who is not seeking re-election.
Toulouse Oliver and Lujan were slated to appear in back-to-back town halls in Taos Nov. 8. A Democratic spokesperson confirms that event will not take place.
In a statement regarding her decision to drop out of the race, Toulouse Oliver said:
"I'm a fighter. I've fought to protect New Mexico's elections system from foreign interference; I've taken on corruption in state government; and I've twice stood up to President Trump when he demanded New Mexicans' personal voter information. I'm not afraid of a tough fight.
"That's why I decided to run for the U.S. Senate. I knew that someone needed to stand up and fight for our progressive values.
"When I entered the race for U.S. Senate, I was the only candidate supporting Medicare for All; I was the only candidate rejecting corporate PAC money; and I was the only candidate calling for impeachment. Over the course of this campaign, that has changed. We have elevated the issues of health care as a human right, of holding the president accountable, and of keeping big money out of politics."
Toulouse Oliver also voiced in her statement support for Lujan's candidacy:
"I know that New Mexico will be in good hands if Ben Ray Luján is our next U.S. Senator. We need Ben Ray in the Senate to stand up for New Mexico and to move our progressive vision forward.
She also noted the importance of remaining in her role as secretary of state, saying:
"What's more, my work as Secretary of State is more important than ever–especially since Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans refuse to take up election security or campaign finance reform legislation.
"Nothing matters if we do not have a free and fair democracy. That's why it's critical that I am here in New Mexico, protecting our elections from outside interference or voter suppression. The 2020 election is the most important election of our lifetime. "We have to turn the page from Donald Trump and go back to the rule of law and strengthening our democracy. Here in New Mexico, I will keep running the secure and fair elections that the GOP-controlled Senate in D.C. refuses to do."
Another Democratic candidate could still conceivably jump in the race. New Mexico's preprimary convention designation candidate filing day is Feb. 4, 2020, and all other major party candidates filing day is March 10, 2020.
So far, two Republicans plan to run for the seat: Albuquerque contractor Mick Rich and former New Mexico State professor Gavin Clarkson.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect the event in Taos is cancelled.