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And then there were two. As expected, none of the eight Democrats vying for the nomination to fill the vacant CD1 seat reached the magic 50 percent +one vote margin required in yesterday’s Dem Party central committee vote. That means voters will do it all again today, deciding between two state legislators, State Rep. Melanie Stansbury and Antionette Sedillo Lopez.

Sedillo Lopez led the first round of voting by 16 points but Stansbury quickly announced a slew of new endorsements from high-profile Dems and organizations who had previously backed other candidates, including former Lt. Gov. Diane Denish and a bunch of state legislators who are influential with party insiders. At least one other candidate, Francisco Fernández, also endorsed Stansbury. A few staffers from other campaigns also jumped on team Melanie overnight and you can bet they were working their relationships all night and today. Sedillo Lopez did not announce any new endorsements overnight via Twitter, where these things are usually spread, but she was still the front runner by a big stretch so it is hers to lose. In other words, hang on. This is going to be very close.

As a reminder, CD1 leans heavily Democratic so whichever woman comes out on top tonight will be heavily favored to win the June 1 special election.

Online voting is open for SCC members until 7 p.m. Expect results shortly thereafter.

Legislators work past midnight to move legalization. Democrats wasted no time moving a pair of legalization bills yesterday in a special session of the legislature. A legalization bill, amended a few times by a House committee that met until almost 1:30 am, will get a House vote today then head to the Senate where it will have another committee hearing before a floor vote. For its part, the Senate is moving a bill to expunge previous cannabis convictions and other social and criminal justice reforms. That bill will land on the Senate floor today where you can expect a long debate before likely passage. It will head to the House for votes tomorrow.

Legislators showed that they were willing to work late last night in order to do this before the Good Friday holiday so don’t be surprised if both chambers are working late into the night tonight.

If you are curious about what’s in the bill, we broke it all down yesterday here.

Oh! And another bill to expand economic development incentives also moved forward. It’s a big deal, but it isn’t getting near the attention of cannabis.

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By Tierna Unruh-Enos

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