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State Senate GOP Keeps Leaders

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — State Senate Republicans voted in a closed-door caucus Thursday to retain their current party leadership while welcoming seven newly elected members to their ranks.

The caucus decision means Minority Leader Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, and Minority Whip William Payne, R-Albuquerque, will continue in their posts when the Legislature convenes Jan. 15.

Sen. Steve Neville, R-Aztec, was retained as caucus chairman for the 17 Republicans in the 42-member chamber.

“We didn’t have any opposition,” said Ingle, who was first elected minority leader in 2000. “I guess you could say that people are pleased with what they’ve heard and what they thought, as far as the results of the last few years of leadership, that they didn’t need to change anything.”

The Senate Republican vote to keep party leaders in place comes after House Republicans decided last month to shake up their leadership ranks.

House Republicans replaced minority floor leader Tom Taylor, R-Farmington, with Rep. Donald Bratton, R-Hobbs, who previously served as the Republican House whip.
— This article appeared on page C2 of the Albuquerque Journal