Crowded GOP Field In Governor's Race

New Mexico – More than two decades have gone by since New Mexico Republicans fielded so many candidates for governor in a primary election.

With no Democratic incumbent in this year's race, Republicans are hopeful of winning back the governorship they held from 1995 through 2002 when Gary Johnson was the state's chief executive. Five GOP candidates are running for the right to challenge Democratic Lt. Gov. Diane Denish in the November general election.

It's the most gubernatorial candidates in a GOP primary since 1986, when six ran and Garrey Carruthers emerged on top. He went on to win the general election.

Denish is unopposed on the Democratic primary ballot. Gov. Bill Richardson can't seek re-election to a third consecutive term.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.