O.K., this one was big enough to get me out of my proverbial recovery bed.
Sen. Rod Adair, R-Roswell, who just a few weeks ago said he would try to hang on to his state Senate seart, announced today that he won't be seeking re-election.
Because of redistricting, Adair was pitted against a fellow Republican incumbent, Sen. Bill Burt.
A 16-year veteran of the Senate, Adair is known as one of the most conservative legislators in recent history. He's also been a champion of government transparency, fighting for such measures as opening conference committees and publishing Senate votes on the Legislature's website.
From his email:
Adair has consulted on numerous Republican campaigns and has provided mapping and demographic analysis during the redistricting process. Through New Mexico Demographic Research he also conducted extensive polling and campaign consulting for state house races in 2010.
Adair said his decision will give him time to concentrate on the "great opportunity we have to help bring about real reform in New Mexico." Adair pointed out that the Democrats not only have 14 incumbent legislators retiring or not seeking reelection, but that there are also 23 incumbent Democrats who are being challenged in primaries. He notes that by stepping down, no incumbent Republican senator will be facing a primary. "This will conserve resources and create a focused and united Republican effort as we move to the general election," he said.
"Republicans have fielded more candidates in more competitive districts than ever before," Adair said, "Now is the time to try to effect change. I have determined that I can be of better service to my community and our state by concentrating my efforts on helping these campaigns be successful. That would bring about lasting change."
"For the first time in my lifetime we have a governor truly committed to change—to real reform—for our state. Because Susana Martinez blocked the Democrats' radically partisan gerrymander, the voters finally have a say in redistricting. As a result, we have the greatest opportunity we've ever had to free the state from more than 80 years of Democrat domination in the legislature. Freeing New Mexico from that yoke would benefit our state for generations to come, in every area of our lives. We could finally reform our tax system, attract industry and medical care professionals, reform our educational system and lay the groundwork for job growth and economic vitality. Now is the time to help effect change from the ground up."
"Just as was the case in the redistricting negotiations, it's clear to me that I can have a greater impact trying to help create a Republican majority, rather than trying to be a part of it. It’s an easy choice to make," Adair stated.
"I have greatly enjoyed my tenure in the State Senate, Adair concluded, "It has been a real honor to serve the great people of Chaves and Lincoln Counties, as well those of North Eddy County during my first term." (Adair was elected in 1996 from Chaves and Eddy Counties, and was redistricted to represent Chaves and Lincoln Counties in 2001.)
Tuesday afternoon Adair filed a statement with the Secretary of State withdrawing from the primary ballot.
UPDATE: 7:04 pm In the original version ogf this post I had the wrong name of Adair's erstwhile opponent. I blame the pain pills. (Tanks to reader Susan!)