Influential state Sen. John Arthur Smith of Deming will face a primary election challenge in 2020.
Neomi Martinez-Parra of Lordsburg, the former vice chairwoman of the New Mexico Democratic Party, announced Thursday she will run against Smith in next year’s primary election.
A licensed teacher who is currently taking time off to care for her elderly mother, Martinez-Parra cited education and health care access as among her priorities in the race.
“We’re always forgotten about because we’re a rural district,” she told the Journal, while accusing Smith of not being responsive to constituents’ concerns.
The Senate District 35 seat encompasses New Mexico’s southwest corner, stretching from the state’s Bootheel region east into Las Cruces. The rural district includes all or part of three different counties that supported Republican Steve Pearce over Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham in last year’s gubernatorial race.
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