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House GOP leader Donald Bratton not seeking re-election

Rep. Donald Bratton of Hobbs, the top-ranking Republican in the New Mexico Legislature, confirmed today he will not seek re-election this year.

The surprise announcement means Bratton’s name is added to a list of nine House member not running for re-election.

Bratton, 67, has served in the Legislature since 2001. He said today he’s been thinking for several months about not seeking an eighth term.

“I think it’s just time … to get some new blood in there,” Bratton said in an interview.

During this year’s legislative session, Bratton played a key role in trying to resolve a budget impasse in the House. However, he expressed frustration after Democrats balked at a proposed budget deal he helped engineer.

A former Hobbs city councilman and mayor, Bratton said he plans to spend more time with his family after his current term expires at the end of this year.

Check tomorrow’s Journal for more information.