Debra Haaland

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Debra Haaland
Deb Haaland.jpg
Former candidate for
Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico
Chairwoman of the Native American Democratic Caucus of New Mexico
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity of New Mexico (1994)
J.D.University of New Mexico School of Law (2006)
ProfessionAttorney, tribal administrator
Campaign website
Debra Haaland campaign logo
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Debra Haaland was a Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico in the 2014 elections. Haaland is currently the chairwoman of the Native American Democratic Caucus of New Mexico and tribal administrator of San Felipe Pueblo.[1][2] Debra Haaland lost the general election on November 4, 2014.


In 2012, Haaland worked as "Native American vote director" for the Obama campaign.[2]


  • B.A. University of New Mexico, 1994
  • J.D. University of New Mexico School of Law, 2006[3]



See also: New Mexico Lieutenant Gubernatorial election, 2014

Haaland ran for election to the office of Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico. Haaland secured the Democratic nomination on June 3, 2014 when she ran uncontested in the primary. The general election took place November 4, 2014.


General election
Governor and Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngSusana Martinez/John A. Sanchez Incumbent 57.2% 293,443
     Democrat Gary King/Debra Haaland 42.8% 219,362
Total Votes 512,805
Election Results via New Mexico Secretary of State.

Campaign themes

Haaland's campaign website listed the following issues for the 2014 race:

Early Childhood Education:

Under this current Administration, New Mexico has been ranked at the bottom of every important list, including a survey conducted by the Anne E. Casey Foundation evaluating child well-being. They found that 60% of children under 8 years old live in poverty and that our children are the most ill-prepared in terms of success later in life. We need elected officials who will stand for the most vulnerable people in our State; the children. When elected, Deb will actively support the initiative that would use a portion of the Land Grant Permanent Fund to ensure early childhood programs are properly funded, among other important pieces of legislation to get our schools back on track.


We cannot continue to use a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to our schools. Standardized tests SHOULD BE one tool among many to assess student achievement and are not the indicator for student success we would like to believe. Our state is diverse and we must recognize that our children learn differently according to cultural and linguistic differences. What works for another state may not work for our students, often whose first language is not English, and we must embrace that. Improving our education system starts with treating each child as the individual they are. We must rely on the qualified professionals in the field to help craft policy that will make New Mexico’s education system a leader, and we need to pay those professionals a wage that reflects their stewardship of the future of our state. As Lt. Governor, Deb will be a strong advocate for New Mexico’s education system and common sense improvements that will benefit all New Mexicans.

Jobs and the Economy:

Under this Administration, New Mexico is losing jobs daily and something must be done. If elected, Deb will work to ensure that we turn things around and make New Mexico a competitor in the national job market. We can use the resources we have here in New Mexico to stimulate small business and create an environment that is conducive to startups. Through innovative programs like technology transfers we can harness the talents of our state and create a positive environment for local business ventures. Increasing minimum wage would give families the increase in income so badly needed by everyday New Mexicans. This income would go directly back into our LOCAL economy and stimulate our state’s stagnant job market.

Minimum Wage

We know minimum wage helps working families. We know that when you pay those families more per hour they are able to put food on their tables and keep a home. We have watched, over the past four years, tax breaks for corporations fail as our state continues to hemorrhage jobs. Big companies, despite their tax breaks, are leaving our state and taking their jobs with them. It’s time to invest in the working families of New Mexico.

Equal Rights:

In New Mexico, we respect each and every family. New Mexico is now among only 17 states in the country that allow same-sex marriage, and as the parent of a lesbian daughter, I know that LGBTQIA rights are human rights. We MUST continue to support members of our community who identify as LGBTQIA and expand protections to stop discrimination in our state. Sadly, New Mexico continues to trail the national average in equal pay for women and especially women of color. According to the National Women’s Law Center, in New Mexico women trail men in wages from 20-45 cents for every dollar. It’s time we gave New Mexican women the pay they deserve. As a single mother, Deb understands the struggles associated with working hard to put food on the table. State government has a responsibility to create an environment where diverse families all have opportunities.

Environment & Alternative Energy:

I am guided by my culture to be conscious of everything around me and to be thankful for the beauty of this state. In New Mexico, we have some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world and we must ensure that they will be enjoyed for generations to come. As a state we need a responsible and balanced approach finding alternative energy as well as utilizing our available natural resources. We are rich in oil and natural gas and as we transition to cutting edge technology, these resources are integral. New Mexico is one of the sunniest states in the country and ranks within the top 10 states with wind power potential, yet we devote very little to this flourishing industry. As Lt. Governor, Deb will make sure that state government capitalizes on all possible resources, while preserving our landscape for future generations.

State and Tribal Relations:

As sovereign nations, our tribes deserve respect and trust in the governance of their people. Our state government should be working closely with tribes to ensure that all of New Mexico’s diverse cultures are preserved and valued.

The State Tribal Collaboration Act (STCA) of 2009 (SB 196) requires that the Executive office consult with the tribes on matters concerning their governments, and that every agency of the Administration promotes effective communication, cultural competency, and positive government-to-government relations.

As Lt. Governor I will work to support the mandates of the SCTA in the spirit and the letter of the law. As Lt. Governor, I would truly acknowledge Tribal Leaders as Heads of State. New Mexico Tribes are a tremendous asset to our state in terms of economic development, cultural richness, and revenue sharing. The state must properly acknowledge these important contributions by our tribes and work to support tribal interests, ideas, and traditions so that State/Tribal Relations are a true reflection of respect. [4]

—Debra Haaland's campaign website, (2014) [5]

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