Big spending brings down few Dems

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — The governor and conservative PACs spent a lot of time and a lot of money trying to oust legislative Democrats but on Election Day shoved only a few from their seats.

Still Gov. Susana Martinez said there’s still hope to get things done.

It was a pricey and ugly fight with the governor’s conservative PAC spending on ads to try and get ride of dozens of Democrats. In the end, Tuesday night's election didn't turn out the way the Republican governor wanted.

At this point it looks like Democrats gained three more seats in the state House making the majority margin even bigger. However, Martinez said the House isn't her biggest worry.

She said despite the Democratic majority, the House still passed her repeal of driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.

“The vote in the House passed overwhelmingly, Democrat and Republicans,” Martinez said. "It wasn’t just by three margin difference either."

The Democratic-controlled Senate defeated the bill. Now the governor is pointing to changes there.

Senate President Pro Tem Tim Jennings of Roswell lost his three-decade seat to newcomer Republican Cliff Pirtle.

“Getting rid of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, Sen. Jennings always blocked that,” Martinez said.

The governor said Jennings also blocked her plan to reform education. He'll be gone next session and so will Majority Whip Mary Jane Garcia of Do a Ana.

“She was controversial. She wasn't voting with us on the repeal of the drivers license law, wasn't in favor on the reform that was being presented for education,” Martinez said.

The governor is hoping for more success this time around. However, there's still one person she considers a roadblock that's staying put. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez was re-elected last night.

“It's a great feeling; it really is,” Sanchez said.

He is one of the governor's biggest opponents. For now, both Martinez and Sanchez say they're willing to work with each other but clearly there's some bad blood.

“I would love to be able to work with her if she would ever tell us what her agenda is,” Sanchez said.

“He hasn't read it, that’s the problem,” Martinez said.

Republicans have picked up at least three seats in the state Senate. But Democrats still hold a clear majority of 25-17.

The governor considers the defeat of Albuquerque Democratic Sen. Lisa Curtis a success, too.

Curtis, the president of the trial lawyers association, played a key role in defeating a bill that would have protected space flight companies from lawsuits sparked by debris falling from the sky that hits people or damages property.

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New Mexico (change)

New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.
Offices & Officials

Governor: Susana Martinez
Lieutenant Governor: John Sanchez
Attorney General: Gary King
Secretary of State: Dianna J. Durán

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