No longer to be speaker, Martinez looks ahead

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No longer to be speaker, Martinez looks ahead

When the Legislature opens Jan. 20, House Speaker Ken Martinez, D-Grants, won’t have the prominent role he has had for the past two years.

Martinez, who has been speaker since 2013, will be replaced by Rep. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, who will serve as minority leader after the Democrats in the Nov. 4 election lost control of the chamber.

The Republicans now control the Legislature for the first time in more than 60 years.
“[Nov. 4] was a very difficult evening for our New Mexico House Democratic members and candidates,” Martinez wrote in a statement after election night.

“I want to thank all our candidates, members, volunteers, allies, and donors who have committed their time and resources to fight for working New Mexicans and securing the House. Despite our best efforts, we came up short.”

Martinez is a 1981 graduate of the University of New Mexico. He earned his law degree from University of Notre Dame in 1984. He currently practices law in Grants.

Martinez has been a member of the Legislature since 1999. His father, the late Walter K. Martinez, served as the speaker of the House from 1971-1978.

The News Port recently talked to Martinez about the upcoming Legislative session and New Mexico politics.

Q. Talk about election night and what kept you busy.
“I was watching about ten races that were legislative races, for most people that were following it, they were contested, swing seat races.”

Q. How will the transition from house speaker to a more relaxed role be beneficial for you?
“I hope it’s beneficial; I’m not there yet in my more relaxed role. It will be a bit of process, this transitioning of power, but I certainly will be working as hard as ever for my local constituents.”

Q. How high of a priority is the New Mexico Lottery and its scholarship fund for you and the Democratic party for the upcoming session?

“It’s a very high priority. We actually worked on it to the last minute of the last second of the last legislative session to make sure it was on its feet financially. We’re going to have to continue working on that.”

Q. When you’re not practicing law or working with New Mexico politics, what keeps you busy?

“I’m married, with kids, and have my first grandbaby. So I am absolutely joyful to be a grandpa. I love it.
“When I’m not with family, I like to ride to ride my motorcycle and play golf.”

Q. Anything else you’d like to share with us?
“It’s been an honor to serve in the Legislature. I’m still serving; I will not be speaker of the House anymore, which is really a high honor, and really the top of the field.
“It’s a huge responsibility and a lot of work, but I was honored to have served at that capacity.”[/text_output][share title=”Share this Post” facebook=”true” twitter=”true” google_plus=”true” linkedin=”true” pinterest=”true”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][image type=”none” float=”left” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” src=”4537″][text_output]Rep. Ken Martinez, D-Grants[/text_output][/vc_column][/vc_row]