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Clerk who issued licenses to same-sex couples loses election

BERNALILLO, N.M. (BP)–The New Mexico county clerk who defied state law by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples has lost her bid to win a seat on the county commission.

Victoria Dunlap, who chose not to run for county clerk again, lost overwhelmingly in her race against Chris Espinosa, who received 72.4 percent of the vote (199 votes) to Dunlap’s 27.6 percent (76 votes), according to unofficial results. The two were vying for a seat on the Sandoval County commission.

In February, Dunlap issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples, only to have the state attorney general issue an advisory opinion the same day saying that the licenses were not valid. Dunlap stopped, but later threatened to begin again. A judge subsequently issued a temporary restraining order against her.

Dunlap’s action came one week after San Francisco officials also defied state law by “marrying” same-sex couples. The California Supreme Court stopped San Francisco’s actions.

Dunlap, whose term as clerk expires this year, is a Republican but has been criticized by members of her own party. In April, the state Republican Central Committee passed a resolution saying that Dunlap had brought disgrace to the party.
For more information about the national debate over same-sex “marriage,” visit

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