House GOP picks new leadership slate

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Nov. 20—House Republicans will be entering the 2023 session with an all-new leadership slate.

House Republicans met in caucus in Albuquerque on Saturday to pick new leadership, according to a news release, and current Minority Leader Rep. Jim Townsend, R-Artesia, chose not to run for leadership again.

The caucus picked Rep. T. Ryan Lane, R-Aztec, who is entering his second term in the House. Rep. Jason Harper, R-Rio Rancho, was selected as minority whip, replacing Rep. Rod Montoya, R-Farmington, while Rep. Gail Armstrong, R-Magdalena, was elected minority caucus chairwoman, succeeding Rep. Rebecca Dow, R-Truth or Consequences, who didn't run for another term and won't be returning to the Legislature.

Saturday's leadership election comes after a somewhat disappointing general election for Republicans in which, contrary to the usual pattern in a midterm election when the other party is in the White House, the GOP did not make major hoped-for gains either in New Mexico or most other states. Republicans will return to the Roundhouse in January with essentially the same number of House seats as they currently hold. Republicans hold 24 House seats currently and will hold at least 24 in January, although two seats are very close and are being recounted; the Republican leads slightly in one, the Democrat in the other.

Democrats voted on their leadership slate last weekend and picked Rep. Martínez, D-Albuquerque, as their choice for House speaker to replace the outgoing Rep. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe.