State Sen. Jacob Candelaria, an Albuquerque Democrat who has often challenged members of his own party, including Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, said Friday he won’t seek reelection in 2024.

Candelaria, 34, who has served in the state Senate since 2013, cited several reasons for his decision to retire from the Legislature, including his plans to start a family with his husband, Kory Tillery.

“It’s been a beautiful chapter — it’s been incredibly rewarding — but it’s also incredibly demanding,” said Candelaria, an attorney.

“At this point, I’m happy to say that my husband and my future children require my full measure of attention,” he said. “They need to come first, and I just can no longer give what it requires to do the job, honestly, and it’s time for someone else to step in and do that.”

Candelaria said a potential challenge from another Democrat who was in lockstep with the party didn’t factor into his decision. He said he has about $250,000 in his campaign account and is confident he could win if he ran for reelection.

“We need more people challenging the status quo in this state because we should be demanding more of our state government and its institutions,” he said. “We should demand more from people in elected office, and I think as a private citizen, all of those folks can look forward to me being even blunter about my views.”

Follow Daniel J. Chacón on Twitter @danieljchacon.

Follow Daniel J. Chacón on Twitter @danieljchacon.

(3) comments

Mike Johnson

I will miss him, he was the only one trying to keep the Santa Fe Ring honest and poking them in the eye to get their attention when it was needed.

Andrew Lucero

Probably the best decision for everyone... Way too much drama and perpetual victimhood surrounding this guy. Anyone who takes over his seat would be a welcome change.

Richard Reinders


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