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It’s filing day: 91-year old senator John Pinto to run again

SANTA FE, N.M. — The longest-serving members of both the New Mexico House and Senate are seeking re-election this year.

Sen. John Pinto, D-Tohatchi, has filed for the Senate District 3 seat he has held since 1977.

Meanwhile, Rep. Nick Salazar, D-Ohkay Owingeh, who had expressed uncertainty about running again, will seek another term in the House District 40 seat he has held since 1973.

Pinto is 91. Salazar is 86.

In other filing day news, Sen. John Ryan, R-Albuquerque, has confirmed he will not seek re-election this year to the Senate District 10 seat he has held since 2005.

Ryan said he made the decision after talking it over with his wife, who is a Cabinet secretary in Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration.

“I felt I needed to spend more time taking care of my family and my work,” Ryan said in an interview this morning.

His decision not to seek re-election brings the number of incumbent lawmakers heading for the exits to nine, though at least two of them — Reps. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, and Nora Espinoza, R-Roswell, plan to run for a different office.

That number could grow as the day goes on, as today is filing day for candidates for all 112 legislative seats.

Other candidates who are running for re-election include Sen. Carroll Leavell, R-Jal, who missed part of this year’s 30-day legislative session to undergo cancer treatments.

Several open seats are shaping up to be crowded races.

In Senate District 29, which encompasses a swath of Albuquerque, the East Mountains and Moriarty, three Republicans and one Democrat have filed. Incumbent Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort, R-Sandia Park, is not seeking re-election in that district.

Similarly, three Democrats have filed in House District 69, a seat currently held by former House Speaker Ken Martinez, D-Grants. Martinez was recently hired as the new Bernalillo County attorney and is also not seeking re-election.