Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Sixth representative Baldonado leaves the state house

Copyright © 2022

SANTA FE – Six-year-old State Representative Alonzo Baldonado announced his abrupt resignation from the state of New Mexico on Friday, saying it was time to stand aside for some new blood.

Baldonado, a Republican from Los Lunas, said he was considering resigning and was almost not running for re-election in 2020. He ran and eventually won, and the two-year term he was elected to run through 2022.

“When I first ran in 2011, I knew I had a self-imposed tenure limit,” Baldonado told the Journal.

Baldonado was the House’s GOP whip, while Republicans held a majority in the 70-member chamber from 2015-2016.

But the Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives in the 2016 general election, and Baldonado cited the frustration over the current party collapse – the Democrats outperform Republicans by a margin of 45 to 24, with an independent – and Republicans’ ineptitude, by the Democrats supported or helped shape bills.

“New Mexico is better when it’s balanced and I hope we get better numbers again soon,” said Baldonado.

Baldonado plans to focus on his work as a real estate agent for the time being. He did not rule out a future candidacy, but such a campaign is not currently in the works.

Like several other lawmakers who have resigned in recent years, Baldonado also cited the financial burden of serving in the country’s only voluntary legislature.

New Mexico lawmakers receive daily payments to help cover food and lodging expenses.

“If you serve in the legislature, you don’t get paid – I don’t know if a lot of people know that,” he said.

During his 11-year tenure in the House of Representatives, Baldonado unsuccessfully pushed for a law requiring parents to be notified before a minor can have an abortion. He also sponsored bills addressing real estate issues and hunting and fishing rules.

Baldonado was also a supporter of Donald Trump, even when some Republicans were publicly skeptical of his presidential campaign, and helped introduce Trump at a campaign event in Albuquerque in October 2016.

According to the state constitution, the Valencia District Commission will select a replacement to represent the remainder of the year in Baldonado’s tenure, representing House District 8.

The district stretches from Los Lunas to Belen, mainly along the west side of the Rio Grande. Its borders will move further east to Peralta under a new house map approved during a special redistribution session in December.

At least three sitting MPs in the US House of Representatives have also said they are not planning to be re-elected in 2022 – MP Deborah Armstrong, Albuquerque, D-Albuquerque; Daymon Ely, D-Corrales; and Rebecca Dow, R-Truth or Consequences.

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