In February, when Sen. Jeff Bingaman announced his retirement from Congress, the state Senate passed a memorial saluting Bingaman’s 30 years of service.
Nearly every senator, from both sides of the aisle, had something to say about the unassuming, hardworking Democrat.
Sen. Carroll Leavell, R-Jal: “He’s been a great statesman for New Mexico. I didn’t always agree with him, but he was accessible and always listened.”
Sen. Dede Feldman, D-Albuquerque: “He didn’t grandstand. He didn’t come to a position until he’d considered all the facts.”
Sen. Rod Adair, R-Roswell: “He is unfailingly courteous in every situation. That’s a rarity in Washington and in politics. It should be a goal for all of us.”
Sen. George Muñoz, D-Gallup: “He was a helper, and we love him for it.”
Sen. William Burt, R-Alamogordo: “He’s the most even-keeled person I’ve ever met.”
Sen. Tim Jennings, D-Roswell: “He sat and listened and kept his mouth shut. He put the state above all issues. I don’t blame him for wanting to come home.”
Jennings’ response addressed the first reaction many had, which was, “How can he do this to us?”