Senate Majority Leader not seeking top job

Michael Sanchez
Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez says he has decided not to seek the chamber’s top job, president pro tem – providing at least a bit of certainty in the chaotic scramble for Senate leadership. 
Sanchez, of Belen, is the sole survivor among top Senate Democrats targeted by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and her political allies.  President Pro Tem Tim Jennings of Roswell lost his seat, as did Majority Whip Mary Jane Garcia of Doña Ana County.  
Sanchez had said after the Nov. 6 election that he would consider vying for Jennings’ job – a position voted for by all 42 senators – but he said Monday that he had decided not to go for it.  
Another powerful Democrat, Finance Chairman John Arthur Smith of Deming, said he, too, would be “perfectly happy” to remain in his position and isn’t running for pro tem.  
Smith said whoever is selected must be able to work with the GOP minority next year – Democrats will outnumber Republicans 25-17, according to unofficial election returns – as well as communicate well with the Governor’s Office. 



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