Senate Democrat to face stiff primary challenge

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May 15, 2012

By: Geoff Pallay

New Mexico

SANTA FE, New Mexico: Senator John Arthur Smith (D) will face challenger Larry P. Martinez in New Mexico's upcoming primary on June 5. A veteran lawmaker with 23 years spent in the legislature, Smith claims that during his tenture he has been, "fair with the division of resources" and is "careful with the taxpayers' dollars." He holds several influencial posts, including chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, membership in the Interim Public School Capital Outlay Oversight Task Force, the Interim Revenue Stabilization and Tax Policy Committee, Interim Redistricting Committee, and the Interim legislative Council.[1]

Martinez looks to win over constituents with close ties to the community and extensive volunteering experience. He served as vice president of the Lordsburg Little League, as a board member of Hildalgo Medical Services, as union steward for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 611, and has memberships with the Knights of Columbus and Elks Club. On making education a top priority, Martinez said, "We have put more money in for early childhood education. It alarms me when it seems the state is happy with the quality of reading level."[1]

Martinez is an electrician by trade, having completed four years at an approved electrical apprenticeship and a three-year state-approved instrumentation apprenticeship. He lists his top three priorities as a state legislator as, "Education funding, job creation, and health care.[1]


New Mexico State Senate
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 28 24
     Republican Party 14 17
Total 42 42


New Mexico House of Representatives
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 36 38
     Republican Party 33 30
     Independent 1 0
Total 70 70


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