She is only contender from outside Albuquerque
State Rep. Debbie Rodella is the front runner to be the next majority leader of the state House of Representatives, say two members who are charting votes.
Rodella, D-Espanola, probably has the support to win, they said.
She is 51, a member of the House since 1993 and chairwoman of the Business and Industry Committee.
Others interested in being majority leader include Reps. Rick Miera, Miguel Garcia and Gail Chasey, all of Albuquerque.
Rodella stands out as the only candidate from outside the metro area.
The sitting majority leader is Rep. Ken Martinez of Grants. He is in line to become speaker of the House, succeeding Ben Lujan, who did not seek a 20th term in office.
A wild card in the vote calculations for majority leader is that 12 or 13 freshmen will be among the Democrats in the House of Representatives. The newcomers will be subject to a lot of lobbying between now and the caucus vote next month.
Still unclear is whether Democrats will number 38 or 39 in the 70-member House.
One race, between Republican Rep. Terry McMillan and Democrat Joanne J. Ferrary, is tied at 6,247 votes each. A recount begins next week.
There also will be a recount between Republican Paul Pacheco and Democrat Marci Blaze for an open seat in Bernalillo/Sandoval. But Pacheco's lead of 66 votes is too large to give Democrats any realistic hope of taking that seat. Other recounts this year have seen only a vote or two flipped.