SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Rep. Debbie Armstrong announced Thursday that she will be stepping down from her legislative seat before the end of her term so she can focus on providing care for a family member.
The Albuquerque Democrat said her resignation would be effective Friday, meaning the Bernalillo County Commission will have to appoint a replacement until a successor is elected. Armstrong had announced last year that she would not seek reelection, leaving open the Albuquerque district she has represented since 2014.
Armstrong has played a key role in legislation aimed at expanding and improving access to health care. That included legislation clearing the way for recreational cannabis use, the repeal of New Mexico’s long-dormant abortion ban and a measure that provided end-of-life options for terminally ill patients.
She served as chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee and was a member of the Judiciary Committee.
“We’ve made incredible progress over the past eight years,” Armstrong said in a statement. “Thank you to my supporters and colleagues across the Roundhouse who helped make these victories for the people of our state possible.”
Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who co-founded a company with Armstrong that helped manage a health insurance program, called the lawmaker a friend and a fierce, dedicated champion.
Competing for the open legislative seat in the November general election will be Democrat Cynthia Borrego, a former Albuquerque city councilor, and Republican Ellis McMath, a retired air traffic controller.