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GOP picks replacement for legislator on ballot

By Dan Boyd

SANTA FE – Bernalillo County Republicans have selected Robert Godshall, a retired federal immigration officer, to fill a ballot vacancy for an Albuquerque-area state House seat.

Godshall will replace state Rep. Larry Larrañaga as the Republican nominee on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. Larrañaga, who was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1994, made a surprise announcement last week that he was ending his re-election bid because of family health issues.

The timing of his decision gave Republicans just one week to come up with a replacement candidate in House District 27, which encompasses a swath of the Northeast Heights. That’s because today is the deadline to fill ballot vacancies created by the withdrawal of primary election nominees.

State GOP Chairman Ryan Cangiolosi said Godshall, who worked as a Border Patrol agent and an investigator with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement before retiring about 10 years ago, will be a strong candidate and would continue Larrañaga’s work on budgetary, economic development and public safety issues.

“Robert Godshall will continue that legacy, and we will work hard to elect him to the New Mexico House of Representatives in November,” Cangiolosi told the Journal.

However, Godshall is getting into the race at a late stage, with Election Day just over two months away.

And although Larrañaga easily won re-election two years ago in House District 27, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton actually got slightly more votes in the district than did Republican Donald Trump. The 2016 breakdown was 43.9 percent for Clinton, compared with 42.6 percent for Trump, according to the online Daily Kos news site.

The Democratic candidate in this year’s House District 27 race is Bill Pratt, a retired physician who narrowly won a two-way primary race in June. Pratt had just under $340 in his campaign account as of July.

All 70 state House seats are up for election this year, and Larrañaga is one of several prominent incumbents heading for the exits. Democrats currently hold a 38-32 majority in the chamber.

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