Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New State House

House Speaker Ben Lujan barely survived his primary challenge back in June. And last night his Democratic majority barely survived a Republican onslaught.

The GOP picked up eight seats in yesterday's election. You've got to wonder whether House Republicans might be tempted to add to the Speaker's woes by trying to peel off a few conservative Dems and attempt a coalition bid for the speaker post.

Whatever the case, us reporters will have to think twice before we automatically describe the Senate as being more conservative than the Hosue. It's probably still technically true, but starting in January it won't be as obvious.

Among the Democrats who appeared to have lost are Albuquerque Reps. Karen Giannini, who lost to Republican Nate Gentry; and Rep. Ben Rodefer, who lost to Republican David Doyle. Jack Thomas of Rio Rancho also lost his seat to Tim Lewis. In Carlsbad, veteran Democratic legislator John Heaton lost to Cathrynn Brown. In Las Cruces, Democratic Rep. Jeff Steinborn lost to Republican Terry McMillan and Nate Cote lost to Rick Little, while Andrew Barreras of Valencia County lost to Republican David Chavez.

(In the haste of deadline writing, my story in today's New Mexican didn't list Cote's and Barreras' defeats.)