Republicans trending toward historic take back of the NM House
After controlling the New Mexico House of Representatives for over 60 years, the Democrats were on the verge of losing their majority grip as close election races ran into the wee hours.
As of 1 am Tuesday, the GOP was sporting a 37-33 lead in the 70-member chamber.
The following four districts were closely watched by The New Mexico News Port.
House District 15: Big money
Incumbent Democrat Emily Kane was losing to Republican challenger Sarah Maestas Barnes 52-48, after both brought big money to their campaigns. Both candidates raised over $100,000 for their campaigns.
The district itself, containing the village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque and the area north of Paseo Del Norte, has historically been a swing district. In the 2012 election, Kane beat incumbent Christopher Saucedo by a difference of 314 votes.
Barnes said she is both “honored and humbled” to have been able to meet with the more than 8,000 people she interacted with during her campaign. “I just want to thank my constituents for this amazing opportunity.”
House District 23: Historically close
Key to Republican control is keeping incumbent Republican Paul Pacheco in office. Pacheco was leading his challenger Catherine Begaye 57-43.
District 23, which encompasses large parts of Albuquerque, Corrales and Rio Rancho is also a swing district. The 2012 election between Pacheco and, then incumbent, Marci Blaze (D), was decided by a mere 78 votes.
“We feel good. There were people voting in our district up until seven,” said Begaye. “It’s been a long road, and its hard to believe this day is already here.”
House District 24: See-saw of power
House District 24 can be looked at like a grudge match. Incumbent Democrat Elizabeth Thompson is squaring off against opponent Republican Conrad James, who she upset in the 2012 election. James was leading this race 52-48 at last count.
The district includes the northeast heights of Albuquerque and is another that swings from left to right and back again.
James, an engineer at Sandia National Labs currently serves as the vice president of the University of New Mexico Board of Regents.
Education was a point of contention in the race. Thompson said James would restrict access to education about sex in schools as well as access to things like tampons or pain killers for menstrual cramps.
House District 25
House District 25, located near the center of Albuquerque, features two candidates who were unopposed in their primaries and who want to focus on education in the upcoming legislative session.
Christine Trujillo was out in front of Marianne Costello 61 to 39 percent.
Trujillo wants to focus on creating jobs, increasing the minimum wage and improving schools in New Mexico.
Costello wants to help New Mexicans and New Mexico “step away from a government that has overstepped its bounds.”[/text_output][share title=”Share this Post” facebook=”true” twitter=”true” google_plus=”true” linkedin=”true” pinterest=”true”][/vc_column][/vc_row]