ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A historic election is in the books and while the country picked Donald Trump as our next president, New Mexico did not.
Governor Susana Martinez, R-NM, feuded with Trump leading up to the election, saying she would not support him, but she took a positive tone on Wednesday following his presidential win.
“I think we need to pull together as Americans because as Americans we want to have a successful country,” Martinez said. “As even Mrs. Clinton said, we owe him a chance.”
Trump himself has alternated praise and criticism of Martinez. At a May rally where the governor was a no-show, he said that she needed to do a better job. Soon after, he told the Santa Fe New Mexican that he respected Martinez and would like her endorsement. That endorsement never came.
The governor herself did have one bright spot, knocking off a key opponent of her agenda.
Senator Michael Sanchez, the longtime Belen Democrat and majority leader, was Governor Martinez’s top target this election cycle. He had opposed her on a number of issues, including crime bills and faced a wave of negative ads.
While his Republican opponent, Greg Baca won that race handily, the bigger picture for Democrats was very positive.
“She spent an awful lot of money in this election to defeat one individual and she was successful,” said Sen. Michael Padilla, D-Albuquerque. “But she also woke up this morning with a Democratic House of Representatives and a further strengthened Democratic majority in the Senate.”
Democrats ended up with two more seats in the Senate and retook the House two years after Republicans seized power there.
That majority isn’t veto-proof so there will have to be compromise during the governor’s final two years if anything’s going to get done. Both sides expressed openness to compromise Wednesday.
House Minority Leader Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, says he will run to be the next speaker and is considered a favorite to win that post.
It’s unclear at this point who will lead the Democratic majority in the Senate.
In total, Democrats have gained seven Roundhouse seats. They could make it eight because a recount is coming in a House race where Rep. David Adkins, R-Albuquerque won by a mere two votes over Democrat Ronnie Martinez.