Gary King (New Mexico)

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Gary King
Gary King.jpg
Attorney General of New Mexico
In office
Term ends
Years in position 9
PredecessorPatricia A. Madrid (D)
Base salary$95,000
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First electedNovember 2006
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$3,487,109
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sNew Mexico State University (1976)
J.D.University of New Mexico (1983)
Ph.D.Colorado University (1980)
Office website
Campaign website
Gary King (born September 29, 1954, in Stanley, New Mexico) is the current Democratic Attorney General of New Mexico. His father, Bruce King, was three-time Governor of New Mexico.

On July 8, 2012, King announced in an Albuquerque radio show interview that he will seek the Democratic nomination for governor in 2014. The announcement confirmed a long-circulating rumor that he would challenge first-term incumbent governor and presumptive Republican 2014 nominee Susana Martinez for the office, and the chance to follow in his father's footsteps, in the next election. He ran twice previously for the governorship, in 1998 and 2002, losing the first in the primary and dropping out in the second.[1]


Immediately after graduating from law school, King formed his own private practice law firm, King & Stanley, based in Moriarty, New Mexico. Six years later, he assumed the dual roles of Corporate General Counsel and Senior Environment Scientist for Advanced Sciences, Inc., an environmental consulting firm. In 1998, King was appointed as the Policy Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management at the United States Department of Energy (DOE) in Washington, D.C. Within a year's time, he became Director of the Office of Worker and Community Transition. During his time at the DOE, he developed and implemented a program fostering cooperation between federal, state, local and Native American governments to enhance cleanup activities.


  • Bachelor's degree, New Mexico State University (1976) in chemistry
  • Doctorate degree, Colorado University (1980) in organic chemistry
  • Juris Doctorate degree, University of New Mexico (1983)

Political career

New Mexico Attorney General (2006-present)

King first entered the state political stage in 1984 having been elected to the New Mexico Legislature, representing the 50th Congressional District. In 1998, he ran for Governor of New Mexico, losing the Democratic nomination to Martin Chavez who then went to be defeated by Republican Gary Johnson in the general election. King's next run for governor took place in 2002, that time he dropped out of the race before the primary. In 2004 he campaigned as a candidate for the United States House of Representatives for the 1st Congressional District of New Mexico. He lost in the general election to Republican Steve Pearce by a 2-to-3 margin.


Gay marriage recognition

In the stretch before the beginning of the 2011 session, Rep. Al Park asked King for an opinion on whether same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions were valid in New Mexico.

King responded by saying that although a majority of states bar recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states, he says that New Mexico does not have an explicit statute prohibiting the recognition of same-sex marriage from out of state.

"We conclude that a court addressing the issue would likely hold … that a valid same-sex marriage from another jurisdiction is valid in New Mexico,” said King.

The new Gov. Susana Martinez noted that she "made it clear during the campaign that she opposes same-sex marriage. It’s important to note that no New Mexico court has ruled on this issue.”[2]


See also: Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now

The June 2008 Survey and Scorecard report published by the liberal political organization, ACORN, gave King an A letter grade. The report was published to shine the spotlight on state attorneys general "leading the fight to protect homeowners from joining the flood of Americans losing their homes to foreclosure," according to the group. [3] The grade distributed to the individual attorneys general "generally broke down along party lines," with the exception of Louisiana's Buddy Caldwell. [4]

Cover up allegation

In March 2010, King launched his investigation into allegations that Secretary of State Mary Herrera solicited "donations from companies that contract with her office and ordered some of her employees to gather signatures on petitions for her re-election campaign." [5] The source of the accusations was a scathing resignation letter written by A. J. Salazar, a former deputy district attorney who, after only eleven months on the job, quit after having discovered what a "crooked organization" the secretary of state's office was. [6] Herrera, while denying this and other insinuations made by Salazar, argued that the real "reason he left the office was because he wanted Spring Break off and he didn’t want to go to work." [7]

Portions of the letter were first published by The Albuquerque Journal and the full context of it was later released to the public through the Rio Grande Sun. Despite numerous requests from local media outlets for the release of the letter, the Secretary of State's Office refused to do so, claiming that it was a personnel matter and that the email resignation did not qualify under the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act. [8] The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, however, disagreed with this assessment. Finally, a little over two weeks after Salazar resigned from office, Herrera's Office released a heavily redacted version of his letter. [9]

Nearly five months after the case was first brought to the attention of the State Attorney General's Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) was brought in to determine whether or not Gary King "attempted to cover up allegations of wrongdoing." [10] In addition to Salazar, requests for federal involvement were made by Manny Vildasol and James Flores, both of whom worked in the Secretary of State's Office, as office manager and public information officer respectively.


On April 16, 2009, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published an editorial centered on the ethically questionable practice of state attorneys general "accepting large campaign donations from law firms, then turning around and retaining those firms in no-bid contracts for 'off-the-shelf' suits that require little original work." [11] While the article focused primarily on the relationship between Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell and the Houston-based firm of attorney F. Kenneth Bailey, it did highlight the fact that the Houston attorney also made a contribution of "$50,000 to New Mexico AG Gary King" right before his 2006 election. [12]

King subsequent response to a passing reference in the editorial prompted the WSJ to investigate further the political connections between King's office and the law firm of F. Kenneth Bailey. Not only was it uncovered that "the firm was later retained by the state of New Mexico to sue a pharmaceutical company in a suit similar to others the firm had tried" [11], it was further revealed that "five months lapsed between two contracts that the state attorney general’s office signed." And despite the absence of a contract in that time the "law firm continued to work." [13]



See also: New Mexico gubernatorial election, 2014

King ran for Governor of New Mexico in 2014.[14] The general election took place November 4, 2014.


See also: New Mexico Attorney General election, 2010
  • 2010 Race for Attorney General - Democratic Primary
  • Gary King ran unopposed in this contest
New Mexico Attorney General, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngGary King Incumbent 53.7% 321,547
     Republican Matthew E. Chandler 46.3% 277,139
Total Votes 598,686
Election Results via New Mexico Secretary of State


King defeated Republican Jim Bibb to win election as New Mexico Attorney General in 2006.

New Mexico Attorney General, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngGary King 56.8% 318,000
     Republican Jim Bibb 43.2% 241,715
Total Votes 559,715
Election Results via New Mexico Secretary of State

New Mexico Attorney General, Democratic Primary, 2006
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngGary King 46.1% 56,943
Geno Zamora 31.9% 39,378
Lemuel Martinez 21.9% 27,084
Total Votes 123,405
Election Results via New Mexico Secretary of State.

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for King is available dating back to 1992. Based on available campaign finance records, King raised a total of $3,487,109 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 21, 2013.[15]

Gary King (New Mexico)'s Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 NM Attorney General Not up for election $68,378
2010 NM Attorney General Won $1,043,230
2008 NM Attorney General Not up for election $368,820
2006 NM Attorney General Won $1,761,424
1998 NM Governor/Lt. Gov Defeated $183,439
1996 NM House of Representatives Won $29,649
1994 NM House of Representatives Won $17,145
1992 NM House of Representatives Won $15,024
Grand Total Raised $3,487,109


Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Gary King's donors each year.[16] Click [show] for more information.

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King has served in the following roles:

Contact Information

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

New Mexico

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

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

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. Santa Fe New Mexican, "Attorney General Gary King to try again for governor job," July 10, 2102
  2. "NM Attorney General’s opinion: NM should recognize same-sex marriages from elsewhere," New Mexico Watchdog, January 4, 2011
  3. ACORN "Attorneys General Take Action: Real Leadership in Fighting Foreclosures" June 2008
  4. Majority in Mississippi "Jim Hood Received An “A” From ACORN In 2008" 17 Sept. 2009
  5. The Santa Fe New Mexican "Resignation letter rips Secretary of State Mary Herrera" 4 March, 2010
  6. New Mexico Independent "Herrera runs ‘a crooked organization,’ former elections head claims" 4 March, 2010
  7. New Mexico Independent "Herrera says Salazar resigned because she denied leave request" 11 March, 2010
  8. New Mexico Independent "SOS refuses to release Salazar’s resignation letter" 4 March, 2010
  9. New Mexico Independent "SOS releases redacted version of Salazar’s resignation letter" 19 March, 2010
  10. New Mexico Independent "King attempted cover up of allegations against Herrera, attorney says" 27 Aug. 2010
  11. 11.0 11.1 Clearly New Mexico "The Karma of Quack: Gary King and Pay-to-Sue" 29 April, 2009
  12. Wall Street Journal "The Pay-to-Sue Business" 16 April, 2009
  13. New Mexico Independent "Timing of AG’s contracts with law firm raises questions" 28 April, 2009
  14. Santa Fe New Mexican, "Attorney general Gary King to try again for governor job," July 10, 2012
  15. Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Gary King," accessed May 21, 2013
  16. Follow the, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015

Political offices
Preceded by
Patricia A. Madrid (D)
New Mexico Attorney General
Succeeded by