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Rhonda bails: Another resignation in the Roundhouse

By   /   March 7, 2012  /   No Comments

Make it nine members of the state House of Representatives stepping down.

Rep. Rhonda King (D-Stanley) announced late Wednesday afternoon that she will not seek re-election in House District 50. (Hat tip to Steve Terrell of the Santa Fe New Mexican.)

In a statement, Rep. King said in part:

“At this point of my life, I want to spend more time with my family, including my young daughter. I also look forward to continuing my service to the community, particularly my work on the Tri-County Juvenile Justice Board which provides programs to help improve the lives of youth in our communities.

“… Being your Representative has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”

“I thank Speaker Ben Lujan and my colleagues in the Legislature for their camaraderie. Last but never least; I am ever appreciative of the love and support of my parents and my entire family.”

Known as a moderate Democrat, King has served in the House for 14 years and her district was altered in this most recent re-apportionment map to include not only King’s hometown of Stanley but also the community of Eldorado in Santa Fe. She’s the neice of former Gov. Bruce King, the cousin of state attorney general Gary King and the wife of Johnny Montoya, the chief of staff at the Public Regulation Commission.

King’s announcement is the latest in a string of legislators resigning at the end of their terms this year. Nine members of the 70-member House are stepping down and with four incumbents squaring off in two districts that are being consolidated under redistricting, that means at least 11 current House members will not return — and there’s still 13 days left before the filing deadline so more changes could happen between now and March 20.

In the state Senate, seven members of the 42-member chamber have announced they’re stepping down.

Speaking upcoming races, Republican Gov. Susana Martinez endorsed the candidacy of Paul Pacheco in House District 23 on Wednesday. Pacheco is running to replace Rep. David Doyle of Albuquerque in the House as Doyle gives up his seat to run for the Senate seat currently held by Democrat John Sapien.

And yesterday, Gerges Scott announced he’s running as a Republican in Senate District 18 for the seat Sen. Mark Boitano is vacating. Scott, who used to work in the Corrections Department under former Gov. Gary Johnson, is a vice-president at the public affairs firm DW Turner in Albququerque.

“I’ve decided to run for the state senate because I understand that for our state to be competitive, our top priorities must be to reform our education system, lower taxes on small businesses to increase jobs and restrain government spending,” Scott said in a statement. “I will fight side by side with Governor Martinez to repeal the law that provides drivers licenses to illegal immigrants.”

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Since 2010, Rob Nikolewski has covered New Mexico politics and investigated fraud, waste and abuse in government. He also writes an opinion column in the Sunday editions of the Santa Fe New Mexican. Rob joined New Mexico Watchdog after 20 years in television as a sports anchor and reporter. He anchored at MSNBC, New York City, Boston, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Reno and Boise, winning three regional Emmy awards along the way. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, a master's in public administration from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and a bachelor's degree in journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio.