The Los Lunas Republican, an attorney, says he has to focus on his work.
Rep. David Chavez is the tenth state House member to announce he won’t seek re-election this year.
The Valencia County News Bulletin was the first to report that Chavez, R-Los Lunas, had decided against seeking a second term representing District 7 in the House. The attorney said he has to focus on his work.
“I have to dedicate myself to my practice and my clients,” the newspaper quoted Chavez as saying. “I am extraordinarily busy and have obligations to my clients.”
He called the decision to not run again “the hardest I’ve had to make,” and said the state needs to consider paying legislators.
Republican Kelly Fajardo of Belen, owner of a social media and web services company, immediately announced she would seek the seat, saying New Mexicans are “tired of career politicians who won’t represent the values and views of their constituents.”
Others who won’t be back
Chavez joins an exodus from the House this year, becoming the tenth of 70 House members to decide against running again. The others who are stepping down without seeking another political position are:
- Rhonda King, D-Stanley, who has served since 1999.
- Speaker Ben Luján, D-Nambe, who is battling cancer.
- Danice Picraux, D-Albuquerque, who has served since 1991.
In addition, four House members are giving up those seats to run for state Senate. They are:
- Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, who is running for the seat Cynthia Nava is vacating.
- Eleanor Chavez, D-Albuquerque, who is running for the seat being vacated by Eric Griego, who is instead running for U.S. House.
- David Doyle, R-Albuquerque, who is running for the Senate seat currently held by Democrat John Sapien of Corrales. Sapien is seeking re-election but also faces a tough primary.
- Bill O’Neill, D-Albuquerque, who is running for the seat being vacated by Dede Feldman.
Two House members are seeking positions outside the Legislature rather than running for re-election. They are:
- Joni Gutierrez, D-Mesilla, who is seeking the political position of Democratic national committeewoman for New Mexico.
- Al Park, D-Albuquerque, who is running for a seat on the Public Regulation Commission.
In addition to the voluntary exodus, two House members will lose their seats because of redistricting this year.
- In Southeastern New Mexico, Roswell Republicans Dennis Kintigh and Bob Wooley are now in the same district and will face each other in a primary. The loser is out.
- In Northern New Mexico, Democrats Nick Salazar of Ohkay Owingeh and Thomas Garcia of Ocate are now in the same district. Salazar is seeking re-election, while Garcia is still deciding whether to do that or run against Sen. Pete Campos, D-Las Vegas.
Senators who are retiring
- Vernon Asbill, R-Carlsbad, who has served since 2005.
- Mark Boitano, R-Albuquerque, who has served since 1997.
- Steve Fischmann, D-Mesilla Park, who isn’t seeking a second term.
- Clinton Harden, R-Clovis, whose situation is unique because he’s a member of Gov. Susana Martinez’s party she was looking to unseat.