Democratic Party of New Mexico
|Senate leader||Peter Wirth|
|House leader||Brian Egolf|
|Headquarters||300 Central Ave SW, Suite 1300, Albuquerque, NM 87102|
|National affiliation||Democratic Party|
|Seats in the Upper House||
26 / 42
|Seats in the Lower House||
38 / 70
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
The Democratic Party of New Mexico is the affiliate of the Democratic Party in the state of New Mexico, headquartered in Albuquerque. The party is led by Chair Marg Elliston, who succeeded Richard Ellenberg. Like the national party, the DPNM has liberal and center-left political positions
New Mexico Territory elected its first delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1850: Richard Hanson Weightman, a Democrat. At this time, the Democratic Party was socially conservative and many Democrats supported expanding the institution of slavery into new Western territories. This pro-slavery position stopped New Mexico's first attempt at a state constitution (which prohibited slavery) from being ratified in 1850, preventing the territory from becoming a state.
In the early 1900s, Democratic politician Octaviano Ambrosio Larrazolo led a movement in favor of civil rights for Hispanic and Latino Americans and Spanish speakers in New Mexico. He found that most Latinos identified as Republicans, which disturbed Larrazolo because he felt that the Republican political machine in the territory was exploiting its Hispanic voters. When New Mexico Territory was preparing to become a state in 1910, Larrazolo was selected as a delegate to the constitutional convention. He succeeded in making sure that the state's constitution protected and guaranteed the political, civil, and religious rights of those of Spanish and Mexican descent. However, other state Democrats opposed these protections and unsuccessfully attempted to prevent the new constitution from being ratified. After being opposed by his own party, Larrazolo became a Republican and served as a Republican governor and senator from New Mexico.
Like the national Democratic Party, the Democratic Party of New Mexico underwent significant ideological changes throughout the 20th century. Since the growth of social liberalism began in the party, Democrats have found success in New Mexico. Between 1931 and 1951, and again between 1971 and 1987, all executive offices in the state were consistently held by Democrats. With brief exceptions, there have generally been Democratic majorities in both houses of the New Mexico Legislature since 1930. In 1977, the Democratic Women of New Mexico caucus was founded with the purpose of promoting women's voices in the state and national party.
As of 2018, the Democratic Party of New Mexico is made up of county party organizations in all of the state's 33 counties, and is governed by the State Central Committee of DPNM, which meets to conduct the regular business of the organization and elect its officers. In addition to the Democratic Women of New Mexico, now chaired by Pam Cordova, the party has a Native American Democratic Caucus chaired by Tracy Goodluck, and a Labor Caucus chaired by Ray Baca. There are also party committees for dealing with specific ongoing issues, including the affirmative action, budget, platforms and resolution, and rules committees, and the judicial council.
Ideological and issue stances
The New Mexico Democratic Party stated its ideological stances in its 2014 platform. Economically, the party supports a balanced budget made possible by progressive taxation, and promotes fair trade and fair labor practices. Like the national Democratic Party, the DPNM supports environmental protections and emphasizes the importance of natural resources such as land and water. On issues of social welfare, the party believes that every citizen should have the right to universal health care, access to education, and guaranteed Social Security. The party aims to protect tribal sovereignty and make sure all Native Americans are recognized in the state. Additionally, the cultural affairs and arts section ensures that all art of the state is protected and supported by the community.
Current Democratic officeholders
On the federal level, both of New Mexico's senators and two of its three representatives are Democrats. On the state level, three of the state's seven executive offices are held by Democrats: Attorney General, State Treasurer and Secretary of State. Both houses of the New Mexico State Legislature currently have Democratic majorities.
- U.S. Congress
- U.S. Senate
- U.S. House of Representatives
- State executive offices
- Attorney General: Hector Balderas
- State Treasurer: Tim Eichenberg
- Secretary of State: Maggie Toulouse Oliver
- State legislature
- New Mexico House of Representatives:
- New Mexico Senate:
- Political party strength in New Mexico
- New Mexico Democratic primary, 2008
- New Mexico Democratic caucuses, 2004