February 25, 2016

Odds and Ends: Who’s running for State House?

—We decided to add Odds and Ends to the regular rotation here at NM Political Report.

As the hectic legislative session ends, we will be transitioning from fewer short, process stories towards more in depth, researched stories.

For example, our look at our piece on how behavioral health budget cuts could impact small providers or on concerns medical marijuana providers have about new transparency rules.

While we are back to creating longer, researched and informative pieces taking angles that other outlets cannot or have not done, we still feel like an Odds and Ends piece in the evening is helpful. There are topics that we can’t quite make into a full-fledged story but are still important enough to not disappear into the ether of Twitter or Facebook.

Today, the news is dominated by folks who say they are running for state House. If you have any more, be sure to shoot an email to editor@nmpoliticalreport.com.

—The race for House District 15 won’t be a free ride for incumbent Sarah Maestas Barnes, R-Albuquerque. Mental health advocate Ane Romero announced this week that she will be running for the Democratic nomination in the position.

“In the state legislature, I will fight for a quality education for every child and a fair system that supports educators,” Romero said in a statement. “I’ll work to rebuild our economy by supporting small businesses and investing in job training programs to enhance our workforce. I will also continue to work toward real and innovative solutions to ensure the well-being and safety of our communities is met.”

Maestas Barnes was at the center of many high-profile crime issues this legislative session, including bills related to increasing penalties for DWI and increasing penalties for possession of child pornography.

—We listed Rep. Dianne Hamilton, R-Silver City, as one of the legislators who are not running again. There are a few candidates already throwing their hat in the ring to replace the long-serving legislator.

According to the Silver City Daily Press there are now five people saying they want to run for the open seat.

A day after Hamilton’s declaration, realtor Michael “Mischa” Larisch announced he would run; business owner Rebecca Dow later announced she would run. Both are Republicans.

On the Democratic side, former Grant County Democratic Party chair Mary Hotvedt is planning on running as is Silver City town councilor Guadalupe Cano. Social worker Karen Whitlock already said she would run, even before Hamilton announced her retirement.

—No shocker here, as Rep. Monica Youngblood announced that she is running for reelection. She is considered an up and coming Republican from Albuquerque.

Correction: We originally identified Guadalupe Cano and Karen Whitlock as Republicans; both are actually Democrats. We regret the error.