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At the turn of the New Year, the Speakers of two Houses of Representatives were much in the news.
In New Mexico the death of Ben Luján, longtime Democratic Speaker of the state House of Representatives occasioned glowing tributes to a man characterized as “a political giant” and “a statesman.”
Back in the nation’s capital, the weakened U.S. House Speaker John Boehner’s inability to manage his fellow House Republicans, never mind the Congress itself, left not a few onlookers wondering how much longer his speakership could endure.
House Speakers are traditionally elected by the majority party in that legislative chamber. In New Mexico there have been exceptions to that custom.
During the 1980s, even though Republicans were the minority in the state House, a number of conservative Democrats broke ranks with their party and helped elected a Republican House Speaker.
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