John Arthur Smith (New Mexico)

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John Arthur Smith
New Mexico State Senate District 35
Assumed office
Current term ends
January 1, 2013
Political party Democratic
Profession Real Estate Appraiser
Website Senate website
John Arthur Smith is a Democratic member of the New Mexico Senate. Smith was a candidate for the United States House of Representatives in 2002 but was not elected. He joined the New Mexico State Senate in 1999. He has served in that position since, representing the 35th district.

Smith is a Real Estate Appraiser.

Smith earned his BS from the University of New Mexico in 1966.

Committee assignments


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Smith has been appointed to these committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Smith served on these committees:


Lawsuit against Gov. Martinez

Mimi Stewart, Henry Saavedra, John Arthur Smith and “Lucky” Varela filed two lawsuits against Gov. Susana Martinez over her line item vetoes in an unemployment bill and a housing bill.

Raul Burciaga, the director of the Legislative Council Service, told committee members of the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) May 19, 2011 that in his opinion two line-item vetoes made by Gov. Martinez violate the state’s constitution.

“Some of the governor’s vetoes seem to impinge on the legislature’s appropriation powers and plow new ground in a governor’s exercise of the veto authority,” said Burciaga.

That day, Gov. Martinez firmly said she disagreed.

“I could protest any governor doing this … it’s not partisan,” Sen. Stuart Ingle. “She’s a good governor … but it’s a little bit of stretch to do this.”

Burciaga testified that the veto Martinez made in unemployment bill H.B. 59 is part of a revenue bill and “did not authorize the expenditure of state money because that authorization was already in statute and not amended in this bill.” Burciaga said the veto is “unconstitutional and, hence, unenforceable.”

The second veto came when Gov. Martinez reduced an appropriation the legislature made to budget bill H.B. 2 from $150,000 to $50,000. Burciaga said that while state courts have not addressed the issue specifically, reducing “an item of appropriation is a legislative function that the governor has no power to do.”

“I think we need to challenge this in the courts,” Rep. Luciano “Lucky” Varela (D-Santa Fe) said.

“The main difficulty I have is changing the figure [from $150,000 down to $50,000 in HB2],” Ingle said, expressing concern that if the current partisan makeup of the Roundhouse were reversed, a future Democratic governor could assume greater power at the expense of the legislative branch. ”We just can’t go there.”[1][2]



On November 4, 2008, Smith was re-elected to the 35th district in the New Mexico Senate. Smith had no challenger. [3]

Smith raised $70,856 for his campaign.[4]

Campaign donors

Listed below are the five largest contributors to John Smith's 2008 campaign.

Donor Amount
CMTE to Elect John A. Smith $12,336
New Mexico Medical Society $2,500
Chuck Hamilton $1,900
New Mexico Hospital Association $1,000
Phelps Dodge $1,000


Smith has a wife, Janette.

External links

Suggest a link


  1. "Lawmakers file suit over Susana vetoes," Capitol Report New Mexico, May 26, 2011
  2. "Legislative director says two vetoes from Susana are unconstitutional," Capitol Report New Mexico, May 19, 2011
  3. 2008 election results, New Mexico Senate
  4. 2008 Follow the Money's report on John's 2008 campaign contributions
Political offices
Preceded by
New Mexico State Senate District 35
Succeeded by