New Mexico House GOP minority leader to retire

February 28, 2014 • State News

HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — Donald Bratton, the New Mexico House Republican minority leader and longtime Hobbs lawmaker announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election.

At the monthly meeting of the Republican Party of Lea County, Bratton said he has decided to step down after more than two decades as an elected official, the Hobbs News-Sun ( ) reported. “I’ve decided after 22 years in public [auth] service it’s time to relinquish the reins,” he said.

The Hobbs Republican was first elected for the position in 2000, replacing current Congressman Steve Pearce. He was last elected in November 2012 when he ran unopposed.

Bratton said he plans to finish out his term, which expires at the end of the year. He says he wants to help the Republican Party gain the majority in the House in the state Legislature.

He served on the Hobbs City Commission from 1992 to 2000, and was mayor of the City of Hobbs from 1996 to 1998.

“I made the decision not to run for re-election at the end of last year,” Bratton said. “I let my staff and a few legislators know during the legislature.”

Bratton has publicly endorsed Larry Scott of Hobbs to run on the Republican ticket for his open seat.

“I spent 14 years in the Legislature as the only member representing the oil and gas revenue industry,” Bratton said. “It makes up 31 percent of the state income and Larry has a similar background.”

Scott said he will not make an official announcement until early next week.

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