Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Era Gone.

Byline: Loie Fecteau Journal Politics Writer

Legislature 2001

GOP joins three Democrats in surprise ousting ofSenate president

SANTA FE The votes added up to a history-making shake-up.

Longtime Senate leader Manny Aragon lost his bid for re-election as president pro tem Wednesday as three Democrats joined minority Republicans in a surprise move to replace him with moderate Democrat Richard Romero.

The ouster of the powerful Albuquerque Demo-crat on the second day of the Legislature's 2001 session was seen as a long-brewing rebellion against his domineering leadership.

The 21-20 vote to replace Aragon with Romero, a former Albuquerque Public Schools administrator, followed the November election defeat of longtime House Speaker Raymond Sanchez of Albuquerque.

"This is a historic day for the state of New Mexico," said Sen. Cisco McSorley of Albuquerque, one of the Democrats breaking ranks with Aragon in the vote Wednesday afternoon. "It's the end of an era."

House Minority Leader Ted Hobbs called Romero's election "an astounding development. …

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