Democrats took back the House and increased their hold over the state Senate last week.
That’s despite the loss of Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez to Republican Greg Baca, which GOP Gov. Susana Martinez declared a major victory.
Come January, the House majority will switch from 37-33 in favor of Republicans to at least 37-33 in the Democrats’ favor. That margin could increase to as high as 39-31, depending on the outcome of two recounts in the Albuquerque area.
Here’s a look at the seats that switched or might switch:
- House District 36: Las Cruces Democrat Nate Small defeated incumbent Rep. Andy Nunez with 56.5 percent of the vote to 43.5 percent of the vote.
- House District 37: Democrat Joanne Ferrary defeated Rep. Terry McMillan in this Las Cruces seat with 52.5 percent of the vote to his 47.5 percent.
- House District 24: Former Democratic Rep. Liz Thomson regained her Albuquerque seat over Republican Christina Hall with 52.3 percent to Hall’s 47.7 percent. GOP Rep. Conrad James, who defeated Thomson in 2014, opted not to run for reelection.
- House District 39: Former Democratic Rep. Rudy Martinez retook his seat from GOP Rep. John Zimmerman, who’d served for two years. Martinez took 51.1 percent of the vote to Zimmerman’s 48.9 percent. The seat is located north of Las Cruces.
- House District 23: Democrat Daymon Ely leads GOP Rep. Paul Pacheco by 105 votes in this Albuquerque district. A recount will decide the winner.
- House District 29: Republican Rep. David Adkins holds an 11-vote lead over Democratic challenger Ronnie Martinez in this Albuquerque seat.
It’s worth noting that 26 Democrats had no opposition for their House seats, compared with 15 unopposed Republicans.
And the difference between winners and losers was less than 5 percentage points in only seven seats, including the two being recounted.
Here’s a look at the 2016 state House results.
In the Senate, Sanchez lost his seat and his powerful leadership role. But Democrats are now in control of the chamber by at least a 25-17 margin. And if the Senate District 9 recount goes the Democrats’ way, the margin will be 26-16 margin. Their current margin is 24-18.
Of the 42 seats up for grabs this year, 18 Democrats were unopposed and nine Republicans faced no opposition.
Here’s a look at the changes and one potential change in the Senate:
- Senate District 29: Baca defeated Sanchez 55 percent to 45 percent in this Belen-based district.
- Senate District 36: Democratic Rep. Jeff Steinborn defeated incumbent Sen. Lee Cotter with nearly 60 percent of the vote in this Las Cruces district.
- Senate District 39: Democratic Santa Fe County Commissioner and former state Sen. Liz Stefanics defeated GOP Sen. Ted Barela in this rural district. She received 51 percent of the vote to his 49 percent.
- Senate District 18: Democrat Bill Tallman defeated Sen. Lisa Torraco with 51 percent of the vote to her 49 percent in this Albuquerque district.
- Senate District 9: Democratic Sen. John Sapien holds a 198 vote lead over GOP challenger Diego Espinoza in this Albuquerque district. The winner will be decided in a recount.
The difference between winners and losers was five percentage points or less in only five seats, including the race being recounted.
Here’s a look at the 2016 state Senate results.