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Akhil, 1st Muslim legislator, opts against re-election


Rep. Abbas Akhil, D-Albuquerque

SANTA FE — Democratic Rep. Abbas Akhil, the first Muslim member of the New Mexico Legislature, said Tuesday that he won’t run for re-election next year.

Akhil narrowly defeated Republican Rep. Jim Dines in 2018 to win a district covering parts of southeastern Albuquerque, including the Four Hills area.

He said he opted against running for a second, two-year term because of the time it would take him away from his young grandchildren. But he intends to finish his term.

Akhil, an energy consultant who retired from Sandia National Laboratories, pushed successfully this year for legislation calling for a data-sharing network among criminal justice agencies and establishing new incentives for renewable-energy systems.

He is the fourth House Democrat to decide against seeking re-election in 2020, joining Bill Pratt of Albuquerque, Jim Trujillo of Santa Fe and Joseph Sanchez of Alcalde.

Sanchez is running for an open congressional seat instead.

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