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Albuquerque lawmaker resigns to focus on mental health

January 29, 2022 GMT

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Democratic lawmaker who represents an Albuquerque district in the state House resigned Friday and said she was doing so to focus on her mental health.

Rep. Brittney Barreras was halfway through her first term in the House when she abruptly announced her resignation through a statement issued by the Democratic caucus.

Barreras said she had been honored to be trusted by her neighbors and community to represent them and did her best to serve the 12th District.

“The huge amount of pressure in such a big job has become increasingly difficult for me,” she said in the statement. “All of the pressure and stress has taken a toll on my mental health.”

She said that she knows many are like her and have experienced stress and anxiety after two years facing the coronavirus pandemic and “I want you to know that I feel you, I see you, I hear you, and we’re in this together.

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“I know that I need to take care of myself right now in order to be a good mom, daughter, co-parent, and community member,” she said.

Barreras said she has arranged to ensure her district is well represented until the Bernalillo County Commission can appoint a replacement.

Democratic House Speaker Brian Egolf said in a statement that he had been impressed with Barreras’ warmth, energy and dedication.

“I have come to deeply appreciate her skill as a legislator and her fierce and compassionate advocacy for her community,” Egolf said. “I wish her and her family the very best for the future.”