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N.M. Senate Dems Pick New Leaders

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State Senate Democrats today moved to fill a void in their leadership ranks after the Democratic president pro tem and majority whip were defeated in re-election races last month.

Democrats in a closed-door caucus meeting in Belen nominated Sen. Pete Campos, D-Las Vegas, to be the Senate’s next president pro tem, replacing outgoing Sen. Tim Jennings, D-Roswell.

Senate Democrats also elected Sen. Tim Keller, D-Albuquerque, to be the party’s whip, replacing defeated Sen. Mary Jane Garcia, D-Doña Ana, in the position. Sen. Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, retained his role as Senate majority leader.

While Democrats gave a nod to Campos as the party’s pro tem nominee, that position ultimately will be decided in January by a vote of the full Senate, of which Democrats hold a 25-17 majority.

The Senate president pro tem presides over the Senate in the lieutenant governor’s absence and assigns Senate committees members.

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