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Former state Rep. Andy Nunez to register as a Republican

Former six-term state legislator Andy Nunez of Hatch plans to change his party affiliation from independent to Republican, he confirmed today.

Nunez served as a Democrat in the New Mexico House of Representatives from 2001 through 2012, but became an independent after he had a falling out with House Democratic leadership in 2011.

He was defeated in his re-election campaign last year, coming in third in a race won by Democratic Rep. Phillip Archuleta of Las Cruces.

Nunez, the former chairman of the House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee, said he is angling to reclaim his old House seat next year. He would apparently seek the GOP nomination for the race and, if successful, would likely face off against Archuleta in the general election.

He said he was always a moderate, agriculture-minded Democrat in the Legislature, saying “I lean more to the right than to the left.”

Nunez is expected to make his party affiliation switch official tomorrow at Secretary of State Dianna Duran’s office.

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