Democratic Party of New Mexico

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Democratic Party of New Mexico
Chairperson Marg Elliston
Senate leader Peter Wirth
House leader Brian Egolf
Headquarters 300 Central Ave SW, Suite 1300, Albuquerque, NM 87102
Ideology Liberalism
Progressivism
Social liberalism
Political position Center-left
National affiliation Democratic Party
Colors Blue
Seats in the Upper House
26 / 42
Seats in the Lower House
38 / 70
Website
www.nmdemocrats.org
Seal of New Mexico.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
New Mexico

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.[1] Like the national party, the DPNM has liberal and center-left political positions

Historical development[edit]

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.[2]

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,[3] 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[edit]

The New Mexico Democratic Party stated its ideological stances in its 2014 platform.[4] 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[edit]

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
State executive offices
2010 House elections of New Mexico
State legislature

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "State Dems elect Santa Fean as party's chairman".
  2. ^ Cline, Dorothy I. New Mexico's 1910 Constitution: A 19th Century Product. Santa Fe: The Lightning Tree, 1985.
  3. ^ "New Mexico Federation of Democratic Women".
  4. ^ "The platform".

External links[edit]