It’s official: Mary Kay Papen is the new Pro Tem of the NM Senate

By Rob Nikolewski on January 15, 2013

Last week, Sen. Mary Kay Papen (D-Las Cruces) first told New Mexico Watchdog that she had the votes to become the new Senate Pro Tem in New Mexico and the senators who voiced their support for her “were not rolling.”
Turns out she was absolutely right.
On Tuesday (Jan. 15) on the opening day of the 51st [...]

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Battle lines drawn early on first day of NM Legislative session, Sanchez spars with Gov Martinez

By Rob Nikolewski on January 15, 2013

Well, any “era of good feelings” for this brand new 60-day legislative session didn’t last long.
A little more than a couple hours after new Speaker of the House W. Ken Martinez told his chamber, “if we disagree it should never be disagreeable” and about a half hour after Republican Gov. Susana Martinez spoke of “the [...]

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Editorial: The other side isn’t so bad

By Rob Nikolewski on January 13, 2013

For all the talk of political polarization, I think a couple recent stories show that New Mexico Republicans aren’t nearly as extreme as liberals fear and Democrats aren’t as left-wing as conservatives suspect.
We’ll start with the decision by Gov. Susana Martinez to accept the federal government’s offer for states to expand Medicaid.
At least 10 other [...]

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“Prudent” budget recommendation from Democrats and Republicans in legislature

By Rob Nikolewski on January 9, 2013

Democrats and Republicans on the influential Legislative Finance Committee unveiled their budget proposal for the 2013-14 fiscal year on Wednesday (Jan. 9) that calls for spending $5.88 billion from the state’s general fund — a $233 million increase from the previous fiscal year.
“It’s a prudent budget,” committee vice-chairman Luciano “Lucky” Varela (D-Santa Fe) told reporters [...]

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EXCLUSIVE: Mary Kay Papen says she “definitely has the votes” to become the new Senate Pro Tem

By Rob Nikolewski on January 8, 2013

State Sen. Mary Kay Papen (D-Las Cruces) told Capitol Report New Mexico on Tuesday night (Jan. 8) that she “definitely has the votes” and and will become the next Senate Pro Tem.
“I know I’ve got the votes,” Sen. Papen said, adding, “I’m extremely confident … I think I have a minimum of 7 and as [...]

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Pete Campos is the pick for Senate pro tem … for now

By Rob Nikolewski on December 9, 2012

At the New Mexico Senate Democratic Party caucus on Sunday, Pete Campos was selected as president pro tem of the chamber to replace Sen. Tim Jennings (D-Roswell), who lost his re-election bid back in November.
But while Campos — who’s served in the state Senate for 21 years from Las Vegas — received the nod, it’s [...]

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Incumbents getting pushed hard (especially from the left) on eve of the primary

By Rob Nikolewski on June 4, 2012

Incumbency is supposed to have its advantages but on the eve of the state’s primary elections, a number of sitting legislators in the Roundhouse are hustling to keep their seats.
Unlike US congressional and senate races where there is plenty of polling to determine who’s supposedly leading on not, statehouse races involve a measure of guesswork. [...]

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Wait ’til November? Hardly — 15 Roundhouse races will be decided June 5

By Rob Nikolewski on May 21, 2012

The general election is not set until November but a review of Roundhouse races shows that for 15 seats in the state Senate and House of Representatives, it will be all over but the shouting on June 5.
That’s because the party primary elections in those 15 races involve candidates who — should they win on [...]

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State rep Hamilton allowed on ballot

By Rob Nikolewski on April 13, 2012

It took until near the end of the business day Friday, but the New Mexico Supreme Court in a 3-1 ruling allowed longtime Republican state rep Dianne Hamilton of Silver City to remain on the statewide ballot despite some sloppy nominating petitions.
In a one-page order, the high court turned back a lawsuit from one of [...]

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NM Supreme Court says candidates with screwy paperwork can stay on the ballot

By Rob Nikolewski on April 10, 2012

Longtime Roundhouse veterans Tim Jennings and Pete Campos – along with eight other candidates for statewide office — avoided potential political death when the state Supreme Court ruled in a 4-0 decision Tuesday they could remain on the ballot in the 2012 elections even though they neglected to write down the districts they’re running in [...]

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