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Hector Balderas

Hector Balderas
25th Auditor of New Mexico
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 1, 2007
Preceded by Domingo P. Martinez
Personal details
Born (1973-08-16) August 16, 1973
Wagon Mound, New Mexico
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Denise Balderas
Children Hector, Arianna, Mariola
Alma mater University of New Mexico School of Law (J.D.)
New Mexico Highlands University (B.S.)
Profession Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic
Website State Auditor’s Website
Campaign Website
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
New Mexico

Hector H. Balderas Jr. (born August 16, 1973) is an American attorney, former prosecutor, and politician who is currently serving as the State Auditor of New Mexico.[1] Balderas became the youngest statewide Hispanic elected official in the nation in 2006 when he won his first race for State Auditor at the age of 33.[2] Before being elected to the office of State Auditor, Balderas served as a State Representative in the New Mexico Legislature from 2004 to 2006. Balderas also serves as the elected Treasurer of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials.[3]

On April 21, 2011, Hector Balderas filed the necessary paperwork to run for the U.S. Senate seat left open by retiring Democrat Jeff Bingaman in the 2012 Democratic U.S. Senate Primary in New Mexico.[4][5][6] Hector Balderas is the New Mexico Attorney General Elect after defeating Republican Susan Riedel in the 2014 midterm election.

Contents

  • Early life, education and career 1
  • Political career 2
    • State Representative 2.1
    • State Auditor 2.2
    • U.S. Senate campaign 2.3
    • Other positions 2.4
  • Honors and accolades 3
  • Personal life 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life, education and career

Balderas was raised in Wagon Mound, New Mexico, a village in Mora County, New Mexico. He is the son of a Mexican father and was raised by his single mother in Wagon Mound. Balderas attended Wagon Mound High School and participated in TRIO Upward Bound, a federally funded college prep program.

While attending the University of New Mexico School of Law, Balderas served as the Council Chair of the Graduate and Professional Student Association.[7]

From 2002 to 2003 Balderas served as an Assistant District Attorney for Bernalillo County. Between 2003 and 2006 he was a special prosecutor for domestic violence cases in the 4th Judicial District of New Mexico.[8]

Political career

State Representative

Balderas ran for a seat in the New Mexico House of Representatives in 2004, defeating the Democratic incumbent in the primary election and a Republican in the general election.

In his first term as a State Representative from District 68, Balderas passed sweeping legislation to strengthen penalties for sexual predators, worked to strengthen drug laws restricting methamphetamine and date rape drugs, establish investment incentives for clean energy and fund virtual education for rural public schools. Balderas also sponsored “truthful interrogations” legislation which gained national recognition as one of the most significant reforms to the criminal justice system. Balderas was nationally recognized alongside then State Senator Barack Obama of Illinois for passing legislation that requires police to record their in-house interrogations with suspected killers.

In recognition of his legislative accomplishments, Balderas was named Rookie-Leader-of-the-Year by the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce for his work on energy development and Outstanding Rookie by the League of Conservation Voters.

State Auditor

During his first legislative term, he was chosen by the Democratic Party of New Mexico to replace Jeff Armijo on the ballot for State Auditor and with a shorter period to campaign, won the election with nearly 55% of the vote.[9] He was re-elected in 2010 and earned the second most number of votes for any of New Mexico’s Democratic statewide candidates.[10]

U.S. Senate campaign

Balderas was a candidate for the US Senate seat in 2012 held by retiring Democrat Jeff Bingaman. He lost the Democratic primary to Martin Heinrich.[11]

Other positions

  • Treasurer Board Member, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO).[1] NALEO is a national nonpartisan organization with a network of more than 6,000 governmental, political, and business leaders who conduct civic projects, training and technical assistance for the Latino community. There are 24 members on the board of directors.

Honors and accolades

  • Recipient of the 2011 Conservation Voters New Mexico Sunshine Award. Balderas was recognized for his steadfast work as State Auditor in rooting out fraud and corruption, and shining sunlight on the operations of state government. According to CVNM, his hard work has resulted in millions of dollars of savings and the enforcement of key safeguards that protect New Mexico’s natural resources.[12]
  • Recipient of the 2010 recipient John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, which honors young Americans who are changing their community through a commitment to public service. He is the first New Mexican to receive the annual award. The award is presented annually to exceptional young Americans under the age of 40 whose contributions in elective office, community service or advocacy demonstrate the impact and value of public service in the spirit of John F. Kennedy.[13]
  • New Mexico State Bar Association 2006 Outstanding Young Lawyer Award.[2]
  • In 2010, Hector Balderas was awarded the Liberty and Justice Award by the New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association for his contributions to empowerment for Hispanics in education and the legal profession.

Personal life

Balderas and his wife Denise have three children, Hector III, Arianna and Mariola. Balderas is a special needs advocate and frequent participant in the New Mexico Special Olympics annual torch run; his daughter Arianna was born with down syndrome. He also has two siblings and is a practicing Catholic.

References

  1. ^ "The New Mexico State Auditor's Office". 
  2. ^ "State Auditor Honored With JFK Award". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved 1 December 2010. 
  3. ^ "Hector Balderas, Democrat for State Auditor". The New Mexico Professional Fire Fighters Association. 
  4. ^ "NM-SEN: Hector Balderas Announces Candidacy". The Daily Grito. 
  5. ^ "NM-Sen: Hector Balderas is In". Daily Kos. 
  6. ^ "Balderas, Hasner file paperwork for Senate bids". Politico. 
  7. ^ "The UNM Graduate and Professional Student Association". Archived from the original on August 22, 1007. 
  8. ^ Baker, Deborah. "Reform System Vs. 'Catch Bad Guy' Approach". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved 3 October 2010. 
  9. ^ http://www.sos.state.nm.us/06GenResults/Statewide.pdf
  10. ^ http://www.sos.state.nm.us/10GenResults/SOSNMG10CAN.pdf
  11. ^ "Wilson, Heinrich win N.M. Senate primary".  
  12. ^ "State Auditor Hector Balderas Receives "Sunshine Award" from Conservation Voters New Mexico". Democracy for New Mexico. Retrieved 10 April 2011. 
  13. ^ "New Frontier Award". John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Retrieved 10 April 2011. 
  14. ^ "The Hispanic Business 100 Most Influential Hispanics". Hispanic Business Magazine. Retrieved October 2007. 

External links

  • Project Vote Smart - Hector H. Balderas profile


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