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NM Democrats now have 3 leaders based in Santa Fe

ALBUQUERQUE — The election of Richard Ellenberg gives the state Democratic Party at least three prominent leaders based in Santa Fe — a fact Republicans immediately seized on as a line of attack.

Ellenberg, a retired lawyer, was elected chairman of the state Democratic Party on Saturday, and two of the state’s top legislative leaders are also Democrats from Santa Fe — House Speaker Brian Egolf and Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth.

A spokesman for the state Republican Party, Tucker Keene, described Ellenberg’s election as a sign that Democrats are out of touch with New Mexicans outside the capital city.

“The Democrats have once again looked toward Santa Fe liberals for their party leadership,” Keene said, “evidently unaware that there are 32 other counties from which they could draw support.”

The state GOP chairman, Ryan Cangiolosi, is from Albuquerque.

There are, of course, prominent Democrats from outside Santa Fe, including Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen, who’s from Las Cruces, and House Majority Leader Sheryl Williams Stapleton, from Albuquerque.

State Auditor Tim Keller, State Treasurer Tim Eichenberg and Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver were all elected as Democrats from Albuquerque.

Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican, is from Las Cruces.