State Sen. Tim Eichenberg will not return to the Senate, announcing he is stepping down to take care of ailing family members. Eichenberg, the incumbent state Senator in District 15, faces no competition in the Democratic primary.
Eichenberg was facing a likely expensive general election battle against former state Senator H. Diane Snyder, who he defeated in 2008 to gain the seat.
Eichenberg told Capitol Report New Mexico in a phone conversation that he alerted Democratic Party leadership (Sens. Tim Jennings and Michael Sanchez) back on April 3 that he may be forced to step down to take care of his 87-year-old mother who is in 24-hour care as well helping out with one older brother who’s recovering from a heart attack and another who is diagnosed with cancer.
“I was pretty certain that all this would lead to more doctor visits for me,” Eichenberg said. “It’s my turn to step up.”
Eichenberg has been in the state legislature since 2008.
According to state party rules, the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County will replace Eichenberg on the ballot. The County Central Committee members will vote on the replacement to face Snyder in the general electioin.
Some of the names being mentioned for the position are attorney and former Director of the state Bureau of Elections Daniel Ivey-Soto, consultant and former executive director of the state Democratic Party Vanessa Alarid and realtor Kevin Hoover.
Eichenberg was recently in the news when it was revealed that the FBI was asking questions about the relationship between the state Senator and Bernalillo County Assessor Karen Montoya.
The FBI is apparently asking questions “about Bernalillo County Assessor Karen Montoya and her association with state Sen. Tim Eichenberg, a consultant whose work includes helping people protest tax assessments set by Montoya’s office,” the Albuquerque Journal is reporting.
The general election battle is likely to be a must-watch and would have been even if Eichenberg stayed in the race. It would have been one of a few races where a former Senator is trying to take back his or her former seat. Snyder was a lobbyist for the Greater Albuquerque Medical Association and NM Chapter of the American College of Emergency.