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New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and her Republican allies lost ground in the state House of Representatives in the general election, but gained seats in the Senate, including ousting a pair of Democratic leaders.
The GOP waged a fierce legislative campaign battle in hopes of knocking off enough Democrats to take control of the House for the first time in nearly 60 years, but unofficial returns suggested the party went the other direction and lost seats.
Although several races remained tight and the outcomes uncertain, Democrats expect to see a net gain of three seats for a possible 39-31 majority. House Democrats currently hold a slim 36-33 edge and there’s one independent.
One of the races where Democrats picked up a seat was in District 43, where challenger Stephanie Garcia Richard knocked off Jim Hall by 309 votes out of more than 13,000 votes cast.
Hall carried Los Alamos by 770 votes, but Garcia Richard won the Santa Fe precincts, gaining 1,000 votes out of 1,200 cast and she won in Sandoval County by 400 votes. Hall carried Rio Arriba County by 36 votes.
“As we look to the future, I’d also like to recognize and thank Representative Hall for his service over the past year,” Garcia Richard said.
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