In an abrupt move, Republican Dr. J.R. Damron dropped out of the race for governor. The state GOP Central Committee chose former state party chairman John Dendahl to take his place.
Here's the wire story
Here's Republican blogger Whitney Cheshire's post.
Here's the official press release from the Republicans:
ALBUQUERQUE - Members of the New Mexico Republican State Central Committee voted unanimously this morning to place John Dendahl on the ballot in the race for New Mexico Governor.
At the meeting - which had been previously scheduled to deal with the withdrawal of GOP State Auditor Candidate Dan Alvarez - party activists were notified by candidate JR Damron that he was withdrawing from the race for Governor. Following Damron's announcement, John Dendahl was nominated by a member of the State Central Committee to fill newly created vacancy in this year's gubernatorial contest.
Dendahl's nomination was seconded by GOP 2nd Vice Chair Ceil Levatino from Las Cruces, New Mexico. GOP Lieutenant Governor candidate Sue Wilson Beffort also spoke in support of the nomination.
John Dendahl is a former State GOP Chairman, Secretary of Economic Development and was a candidate for Governor in 1994.
Lorenzo Garcia was nominated and approved unanimously by the State Central Committee as the replacement for withdrawn State Auditor candidate Dan Alvarez.
Here's the response from the office of Democratic incumbent Bill Richardson:
“It looks like the Republican Party has chosen a candidate who embraces division and negativity, and who is completely out of touch with what matters to most New Mexicans.” said Pahl Shipley, Communications Director for Governor Richardson. “We welcome the opportunity to hear John Dendahl explain his pro-drug legalization plan throughout the campaign."I'll have more in Sunday's New Mexican.