Freshman Lawmaker Stephen Easley Dies

Earlier this year, Easley predicted that his time in the Roundhouse would be short

 State Rep. Stephen Easley, D-Bernalillo, has died. Circumstances of his death aren't yet known.

Easley, a freshman lawmaker who only served one legislative session, was 60. An outspoken legislator, Easley was known for drafting gun control legislation earlier this year in the wake of the Aurora, Colo. and Newton, Conn. shootings. His gun control bills received lots of debate but didn't go far during this year's legislative session.

A progressive, Easley replaced the more moderate former Democratic Party state Rep. Rhonda King.

At a town hall meeting this past January in Eldorado, which falls into his district, Easley predicted that his time as in the Roundhouse wouldn't be long.

"I'm not really here to be in a career in the Legislature," he told the crowd gathered in Eldorado. "I don't have time. I'm 60 years old already, so, I mean, how many more years do I have to be in the Legislature? I can't make a 30-year career out of this. So I'm going to do anything I need to do, and do it now and do it quickly and I will. And I intend to be fairly noisy and outspoken if I must."

Easley added that though he intended to be a "team player" with the Democrats, he would follow his conscience.

"If I have to vote against my party every now and then to do the right thing, I will do that," he said.

In a statement, the Santa Fe County Democratic Party wrote that "we will miss his energetic personality and service to the community."

ProgressNow New Mexico also released a statement calling Easley "a proud, progressive champion who served his constituents with a passionate eloquence during his brief tenure in the New Mexico House of Representatives."

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