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New Mexico Senate leadership in doubt amid liberal push

Jun 3, 2020

Credit Senator John Arthur Smith (second from right) / Adria Malcolm for Searchlight New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Another Senate Democrat has lost his bid for the party's nomination after a coalition of liberal advocacy groups worked hard during the primary campaign to unseat lawmakers who have been resistant to their progressive agenda.

Incumbent Clemente Sanchez was defeated by retired teacher Pamela Cordova of Belen. She was running under the banner “unbought and unbeholden.” The fate of Senate leadership was also uncertain as vote counted stretched into Wednesday.

Senate President Mary Kay Papen of Las Cruces and Senate finance committee leader John Arthur Smith of Deming were trailing their challengers.