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Martin Heinrich

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Martin Heinrich
Heinrich Official Headshot 2019.jpg
Official portrait, 2019
United States Senator
from New Mexico
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Serving with Tom Udall
Preceded byJeff Bingaman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Mexico's 1st district
In office
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2013
Preceded byHeather Wilson
Succeeded byMichelle Lujan Grisham
Member of the Albuquerque City Council
from the 6th district
In office
January 3, 2004 – January 3, 2008
Preceded byHess Yntema
Succeeded byRey Garduno
Personal details
Martin Trevor Heinrich

(1971-10-17) October 17, 1971 (age 48)
Fallon, Nevada, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Julie Hicks
(m. 1998)
EducationUniversity of Missouri (BS)
WebsiteSenate website

Martin Trevor Heinrich (/ˈhnrɪk/; born October 17, 1971) is an American politician and businessman serving as the junior United States Senator from New Mexico since 2013. A native of Fallon, Nevada, Heinrich has lived much of his adulthood in New Mexico, specifically Albuquerque. As a member of the Democratic Party, he was the U.S. Representative for New Mexico's 1st congressional district from 2009 to 2013. He then won the Senate seat vacated by retiring Senator Jeff Bingaman in 2012. Heinrich was mentioned as a possible nominee for Vice President of the United States in 2016 under Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.[1] Senator Tim Kaine from Virginia was later selected instead.[2] Heinrich will become the senior Senator and dean of New Mexico's congressional delegation when Tom Udall retires from the Senate in 2021.

Early life and education

Martin Trevor Heinrich was born in Fallon, near Carson City, Nevada. He is the son of Shirley A. (née Bybee), a seamstress, and Pete C. Heinrich, a utility company lineman.[3][4] His father was born in Waldenburg, Germany, as Heinrich Peter Karl Cordes and later took his stepfather Olaf Heinrich's surname. When he was naturalized as an American citizen in 1955, he changed his name again to Pete Carl Heinrich.[5] Raised as a Lutheran, Martin Heinrich grew up in Cole Camp, Missouri.[6] He attended public schools in Cole Camp, then moved to Columbia, Missouri, in 1989 to attend the University of Missouri. He graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering.[4] He left Missouri for Albuquerque to take graduate courses at the University of New Mexico.[7]

Early career

After a brief stint doing mechanical drawings,[4] Heinrich worked as an AmeriCorps fellow in New Mexico.[8]

From 1996 to 2001 Heinrich served as executive director of the Cottonwood Gulch Foundation, a New Mexico nonprofit organization dedicated to educating young people on natural science and the environment.[7] In 2002 he founded his own public affairs consulting firm.[4][7]

Heinrich served on the Albuquerque City Council from 2004 to 2008, including one term as city council president in 2006.[9][10] As a city councilman, he said his goals were to reduce crime, raise the minimum wage and create new jobs. He also advocated the use of wind and solar power.[7]

In February 2006 Governor Bill Richardson appointed Heinrich to be the state's Natural Resources Trustee.[11]

U.S. House of Representatives



In 2008 Heinrich filed papers to run in New Mexico's 1st congressional district, based in Albuquerque. He originally planned to challenge five-term Republican incumbent Heather Wilson, but Wilson retired to run for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by retiring Republican Pete Domenici.[12] Heinrich won the Democratic primary on June 4, 2008, defeating New Mexico Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron, State Health Secretary Michelle Lujan Grisham, and U.S. Army veteran Robert Pidcock, 44%-25%-24%-8%.[13][14]

In the general election Heinrich faced Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White, whom Heinrich's campaign focused on linking to President George W. Bush.[15] Heinrich also called for energy independence and an end to the war in Iraq.[15] He defeated White, 56%-44%, carrying three of the district's five counties: Bernalillo (56%), Sandoval (56%), and Valencia (53%). White won Santa Fe (64%) and Torrance (57%) counties.[16] Upon his swearing in on January 3, 2009, Heinrich became the first Democrat to represent the district. It had been in Republican hands since New Mexico was split into districts in 1969 but has become increasingly friendly to Democrats in recent years; it has gone Democratic in every presidential election since 1992.


Heinrich was challenged by Republican Jon Barela, who told Politico he did not believe Heinrich reflected the district, saying he was too far left on budget and spending issues.[17] During the 2010 campaign Roll Call reported that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee assigned a lobbyist to aid in the reelection campaigns of possibly vulnerable House members in fundraising, messaging and campaign strategy.[18] Heinrich was elected to a second term, defeating Barela 52%-48%, and carrying two of the district's counties: Bernalillo (53%) and Sandoval (51%). Barela won Santa Fe (67%), Torrance (61%), and Valencia (53%) counties.[19]


U.S. Representative Martin Heinrich during the 111th Congress
U.S. Representative Martin Heinrich during the 111th Congress

On January 14, 2009, the House Democratic freshmen elected Heinrich to a six-month term as their class president.[20] He co-sponsored the Stop the Congressional Pay Raise Act, which would cancel an automatic $4,700 salary raise for members of Congress.[21]

Health care

On March 21, 2010, Heinrich voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly called Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act).[22] In 2017 he co-sponsored Medicare-For-All.[23]


NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC endorsed Heinrich in 2010.[24][25][25]

Heinrich received a 100% score from NARAL in 2009.[26]


Heinrich has identified as an environmentalist throughout his career. He served as executive director of the Cottonwood Gulch Foundation,[27] a New Mexico nonprofit organization dedicated to educating young people on natural science and the environment, and founded his own public affairs consulting firm.[7]

Later, as a member of the Albuquerque City Council, he advocated for the use of wind and solar power.[7] In February 2006 Governor Bill Richardson appointed him to be the state's Natural Resources Trustee.[11] He also served on the executive committee of the Sierra Club's Rio Grande Chapter.[28] In August 2011 he received the Sierra Club's first endorsement of the 2012 election cycle.[28][29] He opposes construction of the Keystone Pipeline. He supports cap-and-trade legislation.[30] In April 2019 Heinrich was one of three Democratic senators who joined Republicans to vote to confirm David Bernhardt, a former oil executive, as Secretary of the Interior Department.[31]

In late 2019, Heinrich was one of 14 senators to co-sponsor the Green New Deal, a policy introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate that would establish net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.[32]

Same-sex marriage

In 2008 Heinrich said, "I am not supportive of gay marriage, but I do believe that everybody in the United States has the same civil rights in front of the government. So I think it's important that civil rights that are available to heterosexual couples should be available to every single gay couple who also wants to make the same sort of commitments."[33]

After his 2012 Senate primary opponent, Hector Balderas, announced his support for same-sex marriage,[33] Heinrich's staff released a statement to the New Mexico Independent newspaper stating, "Martin has supported gay marriage for some time. I just don't think he was asked about it. Thanks for asking!"[34] He was an original cosponsor of Congressman Jerry Nadler's 2009 legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.[35]

Gun law

Heinrich is an outdoorsman, hunter, gun owner, and former member of the National Rifle Association (NRA).[36] The NRA endorsed him during the 2010 congressional election. At that time the NRA gave him a grade of A for his stance on Second Amendment rights.[37] The NRA did not support Heinrich during his 2012 Senate campaign and he has since donated their 2010 contribution to charity.[36]

Heinrich opposed legislation that would have reinstated the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.[38] He also supported bills to create a national standard for the concealed carrying of firearms across state lines, co-sponsored legislation that would ease the restrictions on the sales of firearms across state lines, and called for the repeal of the Dickey Amendment to prevent government research into preventing gun violence.[36][39] He supports banning bump stocks and banning sales to anyone on the federal no-fly list.[40]

Ojito Wilderness

In 2008 the New Mexico Republican Party criticized Heinrich for his work on the creation of the Ojito National Wilderness, which they said amounted to unregistered lobbying. Heinrich responded that the work was advocacy that did not require lobbying disclosure.[41]

Armed forces

Heinrich was a member of the House Armed Services Committee.[42] During his time in Congress he has maintained strong opposition to the war in Iraq, and supports a swift end of combat operations in Afghanistan.[43] In 2011 he voted against the National Defense Authorization Act conference report because he objected to language requiring that suspected foreign terrorists be taken into custody by the military instead of civilian law enforcement authorities.[44]

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate



Heinrich announced that he would leave the House to run for the United States Senate seat held by Jeff Bingaman, who retired at the end of his term.[45] In March Politico reported that Al Gore had signed a fundraising letter for Heinrich.[46] Heinrich defeated State Auditor Hector Balderas in the Democratic primary.[47] He defeated Republican Heather Wilson, his predecessor in Congress, in the November 6 general election, 51% to 45%.[citation needed]


Heinrich was reelected to a second term in 2018 over Republican Mick Rich and Libertarian Gary Johnson.[48]


Gun laws

On April 17, 2013, Heinrich voted to expand background checks for gun purchases,[49] and against regulating assault weapons.[50]

In response to the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, Heinrich said that Congress should pass legislation to combat gun violence.[51]

Health care

On September 27, 2013, Heinrich voted to restore funding for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as part of an amendment to legislation funding government operations for 45 days, and which also omitted House-passed language prioritizing debt payments if Congress fails to increase the nation's borrowing limits.[52]

Election security

On December 21, 2017, Heinrich was one of six senators to introduce the Secure Elections Act, legislation authorizing block grants to states to update outdated voting technology as well as form a program for an independent panel of experts that would work to develop cybersecurity guidelines for election systems that states could implement, along with offering states resources to install the recommendations.[53]

Committee assignments

On April 15, 2020, the Trump administration invited Heinrich to join a bipartisan task force on the reopening of the economy amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.[55]

Bipartisan survival trip

In 2014 Heinrich and Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona traveled to Eru, a small island in the Marshall Islands. The Discovery Channel sent a film crew to document their trip and planned to air the film for a show called Rival Survival. Heinrich and Flake had to survive for six days with few resources, including no natural sources of drinkable water. After the trip Heinrich told reporters that he and Flake decided to do it to demonstrate that politicians from different political parties can work together, in their case to survive.[56][57]

Electoral history

2008 Democratic Primary Congressional Election, District 1[58]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Martin T. Heinrich 22,344 44%
Democratic Rebecca D. Vigil-Giron 12,659 25%
Democratic Michelle Lujan Grisham 12,073 24%
Democratic Robert L. Pidcock 4,272 8%
Majority 9,685
Turnout 51,348
2008 General Congressional Election, District 1
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Martin T. Heinrich 163,622 55.5%
Republican Darren White 131,284 44.5%
Majority 32,338 11%
Turnout 294,906
New Mexico's 1st congressional district election, 2010[59]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Martin Heinrich (incumbent) 112,010 51.80
Republican Jon Barela 104,215 48.20
Total votes 216,225 100.00
Democratic hold
Democratic primary results[60]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Martin Heinrich 83,432 58.9
Democratic Hector Balderas 58,128 41.1
Total votes 141,560 100
United States Senate election in New Mexico, 2012[61]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Martin Heinrich 395,717 51.01% -19.60%
Republican Heather Wilson 351,259 45.28% +15.95%
<span class="nowrap">Independent American</span> Jon Barrie 28,199 3.63% N/A
Independent Robert L. Anderson (write-in) 617 0.08% N/A
Total votes '775,792' '100.0%' N/A
Democratic hold
Democratic primary results, New Mexico 2018[62]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Martin Heinrich (incumbent) 152,145 100%
Total votes 152,145 100%
United States Senate election in New Mexico, 2018
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Martin Heinrich (incumbent) 376,998 54.09% +3.08%
Republican Mick Rich 212,813 30.53% -14.75%
Libertarian Gary Johnson 107,201 15.38% N/A
Total votes '697,012' '100%' N/A
Democratic hold


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Further reading

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Heather Wilson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Mexico's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Michelle Lujan Grisham
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jeff Bingaman
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from New Mexico
(Class 1)

2012, 2018
Most recent
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Jeff Bingaman
United States Senator (Class 1) from New Mexico
Served alongside: Tom Udall
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mazie Hirono
United States Senators by seniority
Succeeded by
Angus King
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