Attorney General of New Mexico

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New Mexico Attorney General
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012 FY Budget:  $25,457,600
Term limits:  2 terms
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  New Mexico Constitution, Article V, Section I
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Hector Balderas.jpg
Name:  Hector Balderas
Officeholder Party:  Democratic
Assumed office:  2015
Compensation:  $95,000
Next election:  November 6, 2018
Last election:  November 4, 2014
Other New Mexico Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorCommissioner of Public LandsSecretary of EducationAgriculture SecretaryInsurance SuperintendentSecretary of Energy, Minerals and Natural ResourcesSecretary of Workforce SolutionsPublic Regulation CommissionPublic Education Commission
The Attorney General of New Mexico is an elected executive officer for the state of New Mexico. The attorney general serves as head of the New Mexico Department of Justice and is required to be a licensed attorney.

In New Mexico, the state attorney general is fifth in succession to the office of governor, after the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, president pro tempore of the state senate and the speaker of state house.

The attorney general functions as the state's chief legal officer, legal counsel to state government, consumer advocate and guardian of the public interest.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Democrat Hector Balderas. He has served in this position since 2015. Before becoming attorney general, Balderas was New Mexico State Auditor from 2006–2014.[1]


The state Constitution addresses the office of attorney general in Article V, the Executive Department.

Under Article V, Section 1:

The executive department shall consist of a governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state auditor, state treasurer, attorney general and commissioner of public lands,...


Article 5, Section 3 of the New Mexico Constitution establishes the qualifications of the office:

No person shall be eligible to any office specified in Section One, hereof, unless he be a citizen of the United States, at least thirty years of age, nor unless he shall have resided continuously in New Mexico for five years next preceding his election; nor to the office of attorney general, unless he be a licensed attorney of the supreme court of New Mexico in good standing; nor to the office of superintendent of public instruction unless he be a trained and experienced educator.
  • a citizen of the United States
  • at least 30 years of age
  • have resided continuously in New Mexico for five years next preceding his election
  • a licensed attorney of the supreme court of New Mexico in good standing


New Mexico state government organizational chart

New Mexico elects attorneys general in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not presidential election years. For New Mexico, 2018, 2022, 2026, 2030 and 2034 are all attorney general election years.



See also: New Mexico Attorney General election, 2014
Attorney General of New Mexico, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngHector Balderas 58.3% 295,008
     Republican Susan Riedel 41.7% 211,303
Total Votes 506,311
Election Results via New Mexico Secretary of State.


See also: New Mexico Attorney General election, 2010
2010 Race for Attorney General - General Election[2]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda Gary King 53.7%
     Republican Party Matthew Chandler 46.3%
Total Votes 597,644


2006 Race for Attorney General - General Election[3]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda Gary King 56.8%
     Republican Party Jim Bibb 43.2%
Total Votes 559,715


Per Article V, Section 5 of the New Mexico Constitution, in the event of a vacancy the governor fills the position by appointment. The appointee serves until the next general election.


The attorney general functions as the state's chief legal officer, legal counsel to state government, consumer advocate and guardian of the public interest. The attorney general also serves as head of the state's department of justice.


  • The Civil Division provides legal advice and representation to state agencies, boards and commissions and researches and drafts Attorney General opinions and advisory letters. The Civil Division conducts Sunshine Law seminars to teach state and local bodies their duties under the law and to provide the public with an understanding of what they should expect from their government.
  • The Consumer Protection Division enforces consumer protection laws to prevent and deter unfair, deceptive, anti-competitive and unlawful practices that injure consumers and businesses.
  • The Criminal Appeals Division represents and advocates for victims and the People of New Mexico in all criminal appeals and habeas corpus proceedings in state and federal courts.
  • The Investigations Division is composed of investigators in three separate specialty area: government accountability, Internet crimes against children, and special investigations.
  • The Litigation Division represents the State of New Mexico in three primary areas: general litigation, administrative prosecutions, and representation of judges and state officials on civil writs. This Division also enforces the Master Settlement Agreement of the Tobacco Settlement.
  • The Medicaid Fraud and Elder Abuse Division is a criminal law enforcement unit that enforces the Medicaid Fraud Act and the Resident Abuse and Neglect Act, investigates and prosecutes Medicaid providers who commit fraud and/or resident abuse, neglect and exploitation in long-term care facilities, and pursues civil monetary repayment of Medicaid program funds when a Medicaid provider does not provide adequate services to recipients.
  • The Prosecutions Division investigates and prosecutes crimes throughout the state of New Mexico. Most of the criminal cases handled by the Division are referred by the local District Attorney, based on a conflict of interest or because the District Attorney seeks assistance from the Attorney General in some specialized area.
  • The Water, Environment and Utilities Division strives to protect, preserve, and enhance New Mexico’s fragile environment, water, and natural resources through litigation and cooperative efforts with stakeholders. In addition, staff members represent the interests of New Mexico’s residential and small business consumers in matters of gas, electronic and telecommunication regulation.
  • The Administrative Services Division and the Information Technology Division are responsible for the entire agency running in the most efficient, effective, and secure manner.
  • The Government Accountability Unit's mission is to evaluate, investigate and prosecute cases of public corruption.
  • Border Violence Division was formed to develop and maintain liaison on mutual law enforcement matters between Mexico and New Mexico and to coordinate between prosecutors and law enforcement agencies in New Mexico with similar entities in the Republic of Mexico.
  • Immigrant Services Unit addresses issues such as immigrant-targeted consumer problems and other civil matters particularly when the immigrant is a target for abuse.
  • Violence Against Women Division is designed to provide training, mentorship and to set standards for the professional response to sexual assault, stalking, and domestic violence.

State budget

See also: New Mexico state budget and finances

The budget for the Attorney General's office in Fiscal Year 2012 was $25,457,600.[4]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

The salaries of state executive officers are established by the New Mexico State Legislature as mandated in the state constitution. Article V, Section 12 of the New Mexico Constitution established initial salaries for constitutional officers with the state legislature able to adjust these salaries starting in 1922, which was 10 years after the state's admission to the United States. This constitutional provision states the following:[5]

Text of Section 12:

Compensation of Executive Officers

The annual compensation to be paid to the officers mentioned in Section One of this article shall be as follows: governor, five thousand dollars [($5,000)]; secretary of state, three thousand dollars [($3,000)]; state auditor, three thousand dollars [($3,000)]; state treasurer, three thousand dollars [($3,000)]; attorney general, four thousand dollars [($4,000)]; superintendent of public instruction, three thousand dollars [$3,000)]; and commissioner of public lands, three thousand dollars [($3,000)]; which compensation shall be paid to the respective officers in equal quarterly payments.

The lieutenant governor shall receive ten dollars [($10.00)] per diem while acting as presiding officer of the senate, and mileage at the same rate as a state senator.

The compensation herein fixed shall be full payment for all services rendered by said officers and they shall receive no other fees or compensation whatsoever.

The compensation of any of said officers may be increased or decreased by law after the expiration of ten years from the date of the admission of New Mexico as a state.[6]


In 2014, the attorney general received a salary of $95,000, according to the Council of State Governments.[7]


In 2013, the attorney general's salary remained at $95,000.[8]


In 2010, the attorney general was paid an estimated $95,000 according to the Council of State Governments.[9]

Historical officeholders

Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the Attorney General of New Mexico has not yet been added because the information was unavailable on the relevant state official websites, or we are currently in the process of formatting the list for this office. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.

Recent news

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Contact information

Mailing Address:
P.O. Drawer 1508
Santa Fe, NM 87504-1508

Street Address:
408 Galisteo Street
Villagra Building
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

Phone: (505) 827-6000
Fax: (505) 827-5826

See also

External links

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