GOP's Conrad James, Ricky Little among losers; Race between McMillan, Ferrary so tight we will not have recount result for days
Republicans hoped to take control of the state House of Representatives for the first time in 60 years, but history and the voters were against them.
Even with the unusual number of close races, Democrats appear to have built on their advantage in the House.
There was a high-profile setback, as Democratic Rep. Ray Begaye of Shiprock was beaten soundly by Republican Sharon Clahchischilliage, a pickup for the GOP.
But Democrat have gained a seat in Los Alamos, where Stephanie Garcia Richard defeated Rep. Jim Hall, an incumbent by appointment.
Democrats also knocked out freshman Republican Rep. Conrad James in Albuquerque. Elizabeth Thomson, right, defeated James.
Republican Paul Pacheco rallied in a metro-Albuquerque race to save that seat for his party. He defeated Marci Blaze. Republican Rep. David Doyle gave up that seat to run for the Senate. Doyle appeared to have lost a close one to Democrat John Sapien.
In southern New Mexico, as many as three Democratic pickups were possible and two were in the books.
Republican Rep. Terry McMillan was running in a near dead heat with Democratic challenger Joanne J. Ferrary. Their race is so close it will go to an automatic recount, but Ferrary has the edge.
Another Republican incumbent, Rep. Ricky Little of Chaparral, lost to Democrat Nate Cote. This reversed the outcome of their competition from two years ago. Cote adds to the Democrats' advantage.
Also in the south, voters ousted Rep. Andy Nunez of Hatch, the only independent in the 112-member Legislature.
Nunez lost to Phillip M. Archuleta, another pickup for Democrats. Nunez finished third, also trailing Republican Mike Tellez.
Albuquerque fire Capt. Emily Kane, a Democrat, won her race against Republican Christopher Saucedo.
Kane first had to win a court fight with the city government, which claimed she could not seek state office. A district judge ruled against the city, enabling Kane to run for the Legislature.
She replaces a fellow Democrat, Bill O'Neill, who was elected to the Senate.