One of the fun parts of the New Mexico Legislature is the cultural aspect.
The quote of the day from the Clinton rally:
"Among those attending were Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, state Auditor Hector Balderas, State Reps. Lucky Varela, Debbie Rodello, Rhonda King, Mary Helen Garcia, Danice Picraux, Donna Irwin and Elias Barela, Senate Dem Whip Mary Jane Garcia, State Sens. Phil Griego, Richard Martinez, James Taylor, Pete Campos, Linda Lovejoy, and Bernadette Sanchez, Santa Fe Mayor David Coss, and former Secretary of State Rebecca Giron-Vigil."
Our statehouse has a Mary Helen Garcia, not to be confused with the Senate Majority Whip Mary Jane Garcia.
James Taylor is Hispanic and a former county ward boss from Albuquerque, not a white guy who sings.
Bernadette Sanchez is one of four women named Bernadette at work in the Roundhouse, all of whom are under 50 years old.
We have three guys named Campos (Joe, Pete and Juan) plus a Fields, for good measure and that mix of Anglo diversity you were looking for. (Where I get into trouble is mixing up Jose Campos and Joe Fields, but that's me.)
And finally, the guy named Lucky Varela? His legal name is Luciano, but his nameplate for his committee hearings says 'Lucky'. Which he may be, despite having carried a couple of health care reform bills that were doomed from the start due to the fact that they would have nibbled at the edges of reforming some aspect of health care.
The first rule of politics in this land which was once Mexico: Your name says a lot about you. Like Senator (Fran)Cisco McSorley. And when you're counting your votes, it's always wise to measure twice and cut once.
Which is why the most frequently heard phrase in the hallway is: No, the OTHER Martinez.