State Senator Jacob Candelaria, DTS-Albuquerque, announced that he resigned his position in the state senate effective at noon on Wednesday.
“There is a time for all things under heaven,” Candelaria posted to his Twitter account. “Public service is a great blessing, but now is the time for me and my family to open a new and exciting chapter of life. My heart is full, and I feel a great sense of joy and accomplishment.”
Candelaria served in the state Senate since 2013. He was a registered Democrat until 2021 when he changed his registration to Decline to State, or DTS. He was the only decline to state member of the Senate.
He previously announced that he would not seek reelection in 2024.
He changed his political affiliation following proposed redistricting maps that he said diluted Latino voters’ influence on Albuquerque’s west side which is primarily working class.
“You would strip representation from people that I represent, many of whom are Hispanic, simply because it benefits you at the ballot box,” Candelaria said as reported in the Associated Press in 2021.
Candelaria has frequently clashed with Senate leadership in recent years, particularly Senate President Pro Tem Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque. Candelaria, an attorney, filed suit against Stewart for alleged retaliation over his criticism of her leadership.
Requests for comment from Candelaria were not answered and New Mexico Senate leadership and the New Mexico Legislative Council Service offered no comment at this time.
As the county is fully within Bernalillo County, the Bernalillo County Commission will make a decision on a replacement to fill out the remainder of Candelaria’s term.