Democrats expect to unify after leadership race

January 14, 2013 • State News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A race for the top-ranking Senate leadership job will be decided when the Legislature convenes, and Democrats seeking the post say they don’t expect the contest to leave permanent fractures within the party during the 60-day session.

Sens. Mary Kay Papen of Las Cruces and Pete Campos of Las Vegas are vying to become Senate president pro tem for the session beginning Tuesday.

It’s among the most powerful positions in the Legislature because the Senate president helps determine Senate committee assignments, including chairmen.

The race could test the unity of Democrats, but both candidates said Monday they expect any political wounds to heal quickly as lawmakers turn their attention to the issues confronting them.

“I am hoping that we will be able to come together and operate as a unified Senate,” said Papen.

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