Election Night: Battle For New Mexico Legislature
The battle in New Mexico is less about the Senate or Presidential races but more about the Republican Governor’s efforts to unseat opponents in the state legislature. Gov. Susana Martinez has been frustrated in having her agenda - especially an effort to repeal a law allowing illegal immigrants to carry New Mexico drivers’ licenses — blocked by the majority democratic state legislature. She’s working hard to put supporters in office.
In New Mexico, Republican Governor Susana Martinez has been unable to advance the top items on her legislative agenda. The Democratic majority in the state house and senate has blocked most of her legislative agenda. The Roundhouse in Santa Fe, N.M. faces about the same dilemma as the White House in Washington, D.C. only in reverse.
To help turn the tide for the country's first Latina governor, conservative political action committees are spending big money to win more Republican seats in Santa Fe.
The most talked-about item on her agenda is the repeal of a law that allows illegal immigrants to obtain a New Mexico driver's license.
UPDATED WEDNESDAY 11:20 AM
It was a disappointing night for Republicans in the state of New Mexico.
While President Obama's victory here was predicted weeks ago, the GOP had much more at stake in the state legislature.
Conservative political action committees raised a record amount of money in an attempt to gain a majority in the State House and unseat the Senate Majority leader. They failed in both goals.
Senate Majority leader Michael Sanchez, accused of blocking Governor Susana Martinez's legislative agenda, won 55 percent of the vote against his Republican challenger David Chavez.
The GOP did score against 34-year veteran Tim Jennings of Roswell who was the Senate president. He was defeated by 26-year-old Republican farmer Cliff Pirtle.
Overall Democrats gained at least two more House seats. The race for District 37 in southern New Mexico was very close as of Wednesday morning and will likely face a recount. In that district Democrat Joanne Ferrary leads Republican incumbent Terry McMillan by just twelve votes.
In the U.S. Senate seat for New Mexico, Democrat Martin Heinrich beat out Republican Heather Wilson in a high dollar race. Heinrich will take the seat vacated by retired Senator Jeff Bingaman, who served for 30 years.