Senate Democrats have nominated Sen. Pete Campos, D-Las Vegas, as their choice to replace Tim Jennings, D-Roswell, as Senate President Pro Tem. The selection happened in a meeting of Senate Democrats on Sunday.
Though Democrats control a majority of the chamber, this doesn’t mean that Campos’ ascension to the President Pro Tem position is a sure thing. Jennings himself was elected to the position by a coalition of conservative Democrats and the bloc of Republican Senators.
Jennings was defeated in the November elections, setting off speculation who will be chosen as his replacement come January. In the Democratic Party, Sens. Mary Kay Papen of Las Cruces, Howie Morales of Silver City, Carlos Cisneros of Questa and Linda Lopez of Albuquerque all ran for the Democratic party nomination. Papen said that she was urged to run by both Republicans and Democrats for the Pro Tem position.
Democrats did not release the vote count.
It is unclear the number of, if any, Democrats that will work with Republicans for another Pro Tem elected with a coalition.
Democrats were able to elect their own leadership. Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, maintained his spot as the most powerful Senator in the chamber.
Tim Keller, D-Albuquerque, replaced Mary Jane Garcia, D-Dona Ana, as Senate Majority Whip. Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, was elected as caucus chair.