SANTA FE – Republican state Sen. Carroll Leavell of Jal is retiring after more than two decades in the New Mexico Legislature.
Leavell told the Hobbs News-Sun that he decided to step aside because of health reasons. He says he fought cancer for more than two years and while it’s under control, the aftermath has been difficult.
First elected in 1996, Leavell sat on the influential Legislative Finance Committee that drafts the state budget. He represented a Republican-dominated district that spans Lea and Eddy counties in the southeast corner of the state, where oil and natural gas development are concentrated.
His replacement can be chosen by the state governor from suggestions by county commissions within the Senate district.
Democrats currently hold a 26-seat majority in the 42 member Senate.