New Mexico Rep. Tim Lewis has decided not to serve another term in the state legislature.
Lewis announced Monday that he had withdrawn his candidacy for a sixth two-year term. He was running unopposed for the District 60 seat, which represents Rio Rancho.
According to the news release, Lewis will finish his current term, which ends this year. He cited reasons for leaving the legislature as wanting to spend more time with his wife and four sons, and an intention to not make politics a career.
“Serving these last 10 years has been a privilege and great honor, and I will always be grateful for the support that the people of Rio Rancho have given me over the years,” he said in the release. “The decision to withdraw now has not been an easy one for me. My family is the primary reason, but I also recognized early on that the office is best served by those who do not make a career out of politics.
“As a high school social studies teacher, I have tried to model what good public service looks like. I will continue to encourage students to get involved in serving their community and focus on solutions to the many challenges we all face as a state and nation.”
New Mexico House Republican Leadership Communications Director Matthew Garcia-Sierra said the Republicans would have to meet to select a candidate to replace Lewis on the 2020 ballot. He said the Democrats would not be able to submit a candidate because they didn’t have a candidate in the primary election and the deadline to file as a write-in candidate had passed.
During his legislative career, Lewis served as vice chairman of the Tax and Revenue Committee for two years, and held seats on other committees. Legislation that he sponsored and become law includes an increase in college benefits to the children of fallen first responders, a measure to give school credits to students who choose career and technical education over traditional college-bound courses and a bill that made funding of the construction of the Paseo del Norte/I-25 Interchange a priority.
He refused his salary as a teacher with Albuquerque Public Schools during legislative sessions for most of his time as a representative.
“Rep. Lewis has served honorably and faithfully in the state legislature for 10 years as a fighter for conservative causes and Republican efforts to lower taxes, improve the business and economic environment of our state, and increase the safety and prosperity of all New Mexicans,” said Republican House Leader Jim Townsend. “I’m proud to call him a colleague and friend.”