The Albuquerque lawmaker was the top Republican in the House when I began covering the Legislature in 2001. He was always accessible, friendly and nearly always had something quotable to say.
The first time I ever interviewed Ted, I was getting Republican reaction to a public campaign financing bill introduced by Democrats. "Public financing of campaigns frankly is an evil idea," he told me.
I was ready for him to say it was a "bad" idea, but when he brought up "evil" -- with a smile on his face, of course -- I knew he was going to be fun to cover.
Ted always wore a necktie with elephants. I'm probably wrong, but don't think I ever saw the same one twice.
I was sorry when he didn't seek re-election to the House. I'm even sorrier now.
The state GOP released the following joint statement this afternoon from Hobbs' successor, Tom Taylor and state Republican Party chairman Harvey Yates Jr.:
“Ted Hobbs was a respected colleague and great example to many of us in the legislature,” stated Taylor. “Although Ted was a passionate Republican, he was always willing to bridge partisan divides to improve the lives of all New Mexicans. On behalf of the entire Republican caucus, I extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.”
“Former Representative Ted Hobbs was a great advocate for commonsense principles in this state,” commented Yates. “His commitment to his constituents and his leadership in the Roundhouse will be long remembered. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hobbs family during this time.”
During his tenure in New Mexico’s House of Representatives (1994-2006), Hobbs served as the minority whip and minority leader. Prior to his work in the legislature, Hobbs served his country in the United States Army and was employed by IBM for over three decades.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 am on Thursday, April 15, 2010 at French Lomas Blvd. Chapel (10500 Lomas Blvd. NE Albuquerque).