Jennings, Nunez say adios to the Roundhouse

By Rob Nikolewski on January 14, 2013

On Tuesday (Jan. 15), the 60-day legislative session begins but it will start without some familiar faces — most notably, Tim Jennings.
The Democrat and state senator from Roswell has been a fixture in Santa Fe for 34 years and has been the Senate Pro Tem since 2008. But he lost in a bitter and expensive [...]

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“Give me your breath,” Ben Lujan remembered at memorial service

By Rob Nikolewski on December 27, 2012

New Mexico Speaker of the House Ben Luján was remembered in speeches given by some of the most powerful politicians in the state at a memorial service Thursday morning (Dec. 27) in the rotunda of the State Capitol but the most affecting words were delivered by those who worked with him.
“He would say, ‘we’re [...]

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Arrangements for Ben Lujan, flags to be lowered to half mast

By Rob Nikolewski on December 20, 2012

Gov. Susana Martinez has issued an executive order for flags to be flown at half-staff across New Mexico in honor of New Mexico House of Representatives Speaker Ben Luján, who died late Tuesday night after a battle with lung cancer.
Flags will be lowered from sunrise Saturday, Dec. 22 until sundown on Saturday, Dec. 29.
The Luján [...]

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Ben Lujan dies of lung cancer

By Rob Nikolewski on December 19, 2012

New Mexico Speaker of the House Ben Luján has died after a long fight with lung cancer. He was 77.
A spokesman for the speaker’s office sent out a news release Wednesday morning reporting that Luján died at approximately 10:45 Tuesday evening after a short stay at Christus St. Vincent’s hospital.
His wife Carmen, children including Congressman [...]

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W. Ken Martinez heading to Speaker of the House; Stapleton out as whip

By Rob Nikolewski on December 14, 2012

W. Ken Martinez is about to fulfill one of his lifelong dreams, following in his late father’s footsteps by becoming the Speaker of the New Mexico House of Representatives.
On Friday, House Democrats chose their party leaders for the upcoming 60-day session that begins Jan. 15 and Martinez was accepted by acclamation to replace former Speaker [...]

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Susana on Andy Nunez falling out: “You can’t stick to one single issue”

By Rob Nikolewski on November 5, 2012

Politics ain’t beanbag and Gov. Susana Martinez didn’t offer any apologies on Monday (Nov. 5) for sending out negative mailers on state Rep. Andy Nuñez (I-Hatch).
“You can’t just stick to one single issue,” Gov. Martinez told Capitol Report New Mexico of the falling out she had with Nuñez a little more than a week ago, [...]

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Another edition of ‘Monuments to Me’ — this time in Taos

By Rob Nikolewski on October 9, 2012

It’s a long-running string of incidents compiled here at Capitol Report New Mexico – something we’ve dubbed “Monuments to Me,” which is the practice of naming public buildings in New Mexico after sitting politicians.
We have another example to report, this one in Taos, where the county commissioners there have voted to name three buildings that [...]

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Andy Nunez tries to get re-elected as a third-party candidate

By Rob Nikolewski on October 8, 2012

Rep. Andy Nuñez (I-Hatch) has become one of the most high-profile members of the Roundhouse in the past couple years, drawing attention for his sponsorship of bills trying to repeal New Mexico’s law that allows illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.
Nuñez has represented District 36 in Doña Ana County for 12 years but in this [...]

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“At the end of the day, it didn’t make much of a difference to folks” — first openly gay man heading to the Roundhouse

By Rob Nikolewski on June 20, 2012

Jacob Candelaria is heading to the Roundhouse as the first openly gay legislator in Roundhouse history. Correction 6/21: A reader e-mails us that Candelaria is the first openly gay man to serve in the New Mexico legislature, pointing out that Liz Stefanics of Santa Fe served a single term in the state senate from [...]

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Analysis of NM primary: Voters say they’ll make their own decisions

By Rob Nikolewski on June 6, 2012

After an unusually contentious primary involving races pitting party loyalties among Democrats and Republicans, the overall message from New Mexico voters Tuesday night (June 5) seems to be, “We’ll make up our own minds, thank you.”
Leadership from the governor’s office and from the outgoing Speaker of the House were rebuffed in very public ways and [...]

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