New Mexico State Senator Jacob Candelaria Switches from Democrat to Independent

New Mexico State Senator Jacob Candelaria has switched his registration from Democrat to Independent (or what NM officially calls “decline to state”).

Candelaria has been a sharp critic of the governor and has been very unhappy with the ongoing redistricting process in the state. Earlier this year he announced he was not seeking re-election because he is “done playing this game.”

“I don’t think that the decisions we make should be based on partisan ambitions, and it broke my heart to see already that the Senate maps deliberately dilute and gerrymander the west side of Albuquerque to preserve perceived partisan advantage for some members of the Democratic Party,” he said. “You would strip representation from people that I represent, many of whom are Hispanic, simply because it benefits you at the ballot box.”

The Senator has also been an advocate for recreational marijuana legalization and was the subject of threats for comments he made criticizing an “anti-mask” rally last year.

Candelaria is the first openly gay man to serve in the New Mexico Legislature and only the second LGBT person, after state Senator Liz Stefanics.

h/t to Ballot Access News.

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