Democratic Senate Caucus Selects Leaders for the 53rd Legislative Session

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Democratic Senate Caucus Selects Leaders for the 53rd Legislative Session

(Belen, New Mexico) – Members of the New Mexico Senate Democratic Caucus met today to determine their choices for Senate President Pro Tempore and to select the Senate Majority Leader, Senate Majority Whip and the Senate Majority Caucus Chair.

The Democratic Caucus chose Senator Mary Kay Papen (D-38- Doña Ana), by acclimation, as their choice for Senate President Pro Tempore. The Senate President Pro Tempore is elected by a majority of the New Mexico State Senate. The Democratic Caucus’s choice must receive at least 22 votes on the first day of the session to be named Senate President Pro Tempore.

“I am honored to have the support of the Democratic Caucus for President Pro Tempore as we enter a difficult session that will require us to solve New Mexico’s many problems,” said Sen. Papen. “I have confidence that Democrats and Republicans will work across the aisle, as we did in the 2016 Special Session, to find results.”

The Democratic Caucus elected Senator Peter Wirth (D-25-Santa Fe), by acclimation, to serve as the Democratic Majority leader for the 53rd Legislative Session. Senator Wirth was first elected to the New Mexico Senate in 2008.

“I am humbled to be elected Majority Leader by my colleagues. Democrats in the Senate are united,” said Sen. Wirth. “We are ready to lead and find solutions to the enormous challenges facing our state. I look forward to serving in this new capacity.”

New Mexico Senate Democrats chose Senator Michael Padilla (D-14-Bernalillo)  as the Democratic Senate Majority Whip. Sen. Padilla has was elected to his first term in 2012.

“I would like to thank the Senate Democratic Caucus for having the confidence in me to do this job,” said Sen. Padilla. “This is going to be a difficult session, because New Mexico needs to solve our fiscal crisis and turn around our economy and create jobs.”

Democrats in the Senate chose Senator Jacob Candelaria (D-26-Bernalillo) to be the New Mexico Senate Majority Caucus Chair. Sen. Candelaria was elected in 2012, and this will be his 2nd time serving as the Caucus Chair.

“I am humbled to be chosen by the Democrats in the Senate to serve as their Caucus Chair,” said Sen. Candelaria. “We have a lot of work to do, and I will do what is necessary to move New Mexico forward.”

The opening day of the 53rd Legislative Session will be January 19, 2017 at noon and will continue through March 18th at noon. During a 60 day session, there are no restrictions on the subjects of bills that can be introduced.