Hispanic Republican legislator retires in New Mexico House

December 31, 2021 GMT

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Republican state Rep. Alonzo Baldonado of Los Lunas is retiring from the New Mexico Legislature after a decade of advocacy for a district in central New Mexico and socially conservative causes.

A spokesman for House Republicans announced Baldonado’s departure Friday in a news release.

The statement highlights efforts to fund a regional hospital and highway interchange in Valencia County. A bill signed this month sets aside $50 million of federal pandemic relief funds for the hospital.

Baldonado served as House majority whip for two years during a brief but historic Republican takeover of the House after six decades of uninterrupted Democratic control.

With Baldonado’s support, the New Mexico House of Representatives approved a ban on late-term abortions and a bill requiring that parents be notified at least 48 hours before a minor ends a pregnancy — initiatives that stalled in the Democrat-controlled state Senate.


Democrats recaptured the House majority in 2016 and in early 2021 helped overturn the state’s dormant ban on most abortion procedures.

As a Hispanic legislator, Baldonado also participated in efforts by the Republican Party to expand racial and ethnic diversity within its ranks.

The Valencia County Commission will name a replacement to serve out the remaining year of Baldonado’s term in a House district that extends across Los Lunas, stretching from Bosque Farms to Belen.

That district would change only slightly under new political maps approved by the Democratic-led Legislature. Registered Republicans would outnumber Democrats by about 3 percentage points in a district that has sided heavily Republican candidates in recent elections.

Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is considering whether to sign the redistricting proposal.