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Dem campaigns for Belen/ABQ legislative seat


Dick Wilkinson, Democratic candidate in Senate 29

SANTA FE — Republican Sen. Greg Baca won his seat three years ago by defeating a powerful Democratic senator.

Now Baca may be the one facing a re-election challenge from a political newcomer.

Democrat Dick Wilkinson, a retired Army intelligence analyst, announced his plans this month to run in Senate District 29. Wilkinson, 38, lives in the Mesa del Sol neighborhood in southern Albuquerque and works as chief information security officer for the state judiciary.

He describes himself as a moderate Democrat.

“I’m pretty close to the center,” Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson said child welfare, growth of the film industry and veterans issues would be among his priorities.

Baca is a lawyer and Gulf War veteran from Belen.

He won a high-profile legislative race in 2016, ousting then-Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, a Democrat who had held the seat for 24 years.

Baca announced his re-election campaign this week.

The district covers parts of Bernalillo and Valencia counties

All 112 seats in the Legislature will be up in the 2020 election. Members of the Senate serve four-year terms, and representatives in the House serve two years at a time.

Democrats hold majorities in each chamber.