House Minority Whip Greg Nibert, a Republican from Roswell, has expressed his intent to be considered for the vacant Senate seat in a southeast New Mexico district. In a press release, Nibert announced his plan to seek nomination from the county commissions in Chaves, Curry, De Baca, Lea, and Roosevelt to complete the unexpired term of former Sen. Stuart Ingle, who served nearly 40 years in the Legislature.
Nibert has been a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives since 2017, advocating for the oil and gas and agricultural industries, which are prominent in Senate District 27. He believes his experience in the Senate will provide a strong voice for the constituents in eastern New Mexico.
Notably, Larry Marker, a small oil producer and conservative activist, had already declared his candidacy in the Republican primary for Senate District 27. On Monday, Marker confirmed that he would also submit his name to the county commissions for consideration.
According to state law, candidates seeking the seat must present their names to all county commissions in the district, which will then vote to advance one nominee to the governor for selection.
In his announcement, Nibert disclosed that all his colleagues in the House who live in or near Senate District 27, including Representatives Andrea Reeb, Martin Zamora, and Larry Scott, have endorsed his bid for the Senate.
The revamped Senate District 27, following recent redistricting, now includes more of Chaves County, overlapping with Nibert’s current House District 59.
Nibert’s candidacy has been anticipated, as he had previously expressed interest in running for the Senate seat if Ingle decided not to seek reelection. Nibert is an attorney who has been with the oil and gas department of the Hinkle Shanor Law Firm in Roswell since 1983.
He has held various positions, including executive director of the Roswell Chamber of Commerce, member of the Roswell Independent School Board of Education, and chair of the Republican Party of Chaves County. In 2016, he was elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives, representing District 59. He was elected House Minority Whip in January.
In recent years, Nibert has been vocal in his opposition to the emergency public health orders issued by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ingle’s resignation is part of a trend in southeast New Mexico, where longtime lawmakers have either resigned or chosen not to seek reelection, leading to shifts in representation in the region.