King is ninth House member to not seek re-election
King, D-Stanley, says she wants to spend more time with family and doing local community service.
Rhonda King is the ninth House member to announce she won’t seek re-election this year, and, because of redistricting, another two House members won’t be back in that chamber in 2013.
King, D-Stanley, announced that she won’t seek an eighth term on Wednesday in an e-mail to reporters.
“At this point of my life, I want to spend more time with my family, including my young daughter,” King said, according to The Santa Fe New Mexican’s Steve Terrell. “I also look forward to continuing my service to the community, particularly my work on the Tri-County Juvenile Justice Board, which provides programs to help improve the lives of youth in our communities.”
King also thanked House Speaker Ben Luján and other colleagues “for their camaraderie.” She said she’s worked hard to “craft policies and implement programs to improve the lives of all New Mexicans, by promoting open and accountable government; supporting small businesses; protecting our environment by supporting renewable energy; creating jobs; improving our educational system and passing measures to protect our children.”
House members who won’t be back
King is one of three House members who have announced they’re stepping down without seeking another political position. The others are:
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.
Finally, 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 won’t be back
- 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.
Legislature’s political history
There are currently 36 Democrats, 33 Republicans and one independent in the House, and 28 Democrats and 14 Republicans in the Senate. Republicans haven’t held the majority the House since 1954, though coalitions that included more Republicans than Democrats elected the speaker for periods in the 1970s and 1980s.
In the Senate, Republicans haven’t held the majority of seats since 1986. In the 1980s, when the chamber was fairly evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, coalitions elected the president pro tem several years.
You can view the political history of the Legislature here.
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