SANTA FE—This afternoon, the House of Representatives honored the legislative careers of Rep. Jim Smith (R-Sandia Park), Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-Alamogordo), and Rep. Dennis Roch (R-Logan). These three representatives have announced that they do not intend to seek re-election to the House of Representatives this year.
Rep. Jim Smith began his legislative career in 2011. A retired charter school science and technology teacher, Rep. Smith has been a tireless advocate for charter schools and targeted programs to provide direct assistance to struggling students. Rep. Smith has also championed efforts to improve wireless and broadband service in New Mexico, especially in rural communities. A prolific bipartisan worker, Rep. Smith shepherded numerous proposals through the legislature, and earned a reputation among his peers for consensus building.
Rep. Yvette Herrell entered the Legislature in 2011 as well. Rep. Herrell has been a strong proponent of limited government and fiscal responsibility. As a small business owner, Rep. Herrell consistently promoted policies to encourage business growth and development in New Mexico. Rep. Herrell has also been a steadfast supporter of our military veterans and has backed efforts to protect the honors and benefits due to these defenders of our freedoms.
Rep. Dennis Roch was elected to the House of Representatives in 2008. The only school district superintendent serving in the Legislature, Rep. Roch brought a wealth of knowledge to discussions about K-12 educational policy. A skilled public speaker and debater, Rep. Roch has often been called upon to preside over floor discussions and guide his colleagues on matters of procedure. His quick wit and ready puns brightened the mood during many committee meetings and long floor debates.
Memorials were read on the House floor for each retiring representative to recognize their legislative service and contributions. Many of their colleagues also stood to thank them for their service to New Mexico.