Ingle ready to lead Legislature

Freedom New Mexico: Argen Duncan State Sen. Stuart Ingle expects the financial shortage to be the biggest issue in this year’s Legislative session. Here, he sits in his Portales home next to photos of his daughters.

By Argen Duncan: Freedom New Mexico

Hunter, family man, farmer, state senator for 24 years.

Portales resident Stuart Ingle wears many hats in eastern New Mexico, where he was born and raised.

Ingle, a Republican elected to another term in November, has spent the last eight years as Senate minority leader.

“I enjoy working with people in the various counties I serve, and I enjoy the people I meet in the state Legislature,” Ingle said. “It’s been interesting for me, and I hope I help the people in the district I serve.”

The Legislature starts today.

Among the bills Ingle has carried are pieces of legislation to institute the New Mexico Lottery and scholarships it provides and to allow Roosevelt County to levy a tax to build Roosevelt General Hospital.

When Ingle isn’t in Santa Fe, he raises cattle and dryland farms.

“And I pray for rain,” he said.

Ingle also plays golf, or, he says, tries to, and likes to hunt and fish. He also enjoys spending time with his adult daughters: Jennifer, a doctor in San Antonio, and Laura, a certified public accountant in Dallas.

Ingle was born in Clovis in 1947, and moved to Portales about three years later. He joined his father in the broom corn business and later struck out on his own to farm and raise cattle in the area.

“My livelihood is there,” said Ingle, who represents Roosevelt, Curry, De Baca and Chaves counties.

In 1995, Ingle had an aneurysm of the major artery traveling from the heart to the brain. During his second episode with the problem, Ingle said, he dropped the phone he was talking on and woke up 16 days later in a Dallas hospital.

After surgery to cut muscles attached to an eyeball, he was unable to drive for three months and had headaches for six months.

It took about a year for Ingle to feel right again.

“I’m a very, very lucky person,” Ingle said, adding that the “good Lord” was taking care of him.

Mike Miller, Ingle’s friend and business associate, said Ingle is the same now as before he was elected to the Legislature.

“What you see is what you get,” Miller said. “There’s nothing pretentious about him.”

As a legislator, Miller said Ingle is extremely effective and gets along with everyone. Miller attributes Ingle’s good law-making relationships to respect and credibility garnered by his openness and honesty.