Luciano Varela

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Luciano Varela
New Mexico House of Representatives District 48
Assumed office
Current term ends
January 1, 2013
Political party Democratic
Profession Legislator
Website House site
Luciano Varela (b. February 17, 1935) is a Democratic member of the New Mexico House of Representatives. He has represented the 48th District since 1987.

Committee assignments


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Varela has been appointed to the following committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Varela served on the following 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]



See also: New Mexico House of Representatives elections, 2010

Varela won re-election to the 48th District Seat in 2010. He had no primary opposition and defeated Bob Walsh (R) in the general election which took place on November 2, 2010.[3]

New Mexico House of Representatives General Election, District 48 (2010)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Luciano Varela (D) 7,776 78.50%
Bob Walsh (R) 2,128 21.50%

Soundbites from bipartisan forum

Luciano Varela and his opponent Bob Walsh spoke at a forum in late September 2010.[4]


On November 4, 2008, Varela won re-election to the 48th District Seat in the New Mexico House of Representatives. Varela had no challenger. [5]

Campaign donors


In 2008, Varela collected $24,739 in donations.[6]

His four largest contributors in 2008 were:

Donor Amount
New Mexico Hospital Association $1,500
Associated Contractors of New Mexico $1,000
New Mexico Automotive Dealers Association $1,000
New Mexico Medical Society $1,000

External links

Suggest a link


Political offices
Preceded by
New Mexico House of Representatives - District 48
Succeeded by