New Mexico Senate leaders lose primary bid amid liberal push

Jun 3, 2020

Credit Senator Mary Kay Papen (D)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two key leaders in the New Mexico Senate have lost their primary bids amid a push by liberal advocacy groups to unseat Democratic lawmakers who have resisted their progressive agenda.

Senate President Mary Kay Papen of Las Cruces and Senate finance committee leader John Arthur Smith of Deming were defeated as more votes were tallied Wednesday.

Papen lost to Carrie Hamblen, the CEO of the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce. Neomi Martinez-Parra of Lordsburg, a former vice chairwoman of the state Democratic Party, defeated Smith.

Three other Democrat incumbents also lost their primary bids.