Hector Balderas

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Hector Balderas
Hector Balderas.jpg
New Mexico State Auditor
In office
2006 - Present
Years in position 9
PredecessorDomingo Martinez (D)
Base salary$85,000
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First electedNovember 2006
Campaign $$642,316
Term limitsTwo consecutive terms
Bachelor'sNew Mexico Highlands University
J.D.New Mexico University Law School
Office website
Campaign website
Hector Balderas is the current Democratic New Mexico State Auditor. He was first elected to the office in 2006, at which point in time he was the youngest Hispanic statewide officer in the country, age 33.[1]

Balderas ran for U.S. Senate in 2012 but lost in the primary.[2]

Balderas ran for New Mexico Attorney General in 2014.[3]


Balderas grew up in Wagon Mound, New Mexico, a small village with roughly 310 residents. His father is a foreign born immigrant from Mexico and his mother is a native of Wagon Mound. Raised in public housing, Balderas graduated from New Mexico Highlands University. He went on to earn his law degree from the University of New Mexico, becoming the first person in the history of his village to become an attorney.[4]

Upon graduating from law school, Balderas began work as an assistant district attorney in Albuquerque. In December 2003, he moved his family back to Wagon Mound and was elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives. Before he completed his first term in the state legislature, Balderas won election as auditor.[4]


  • BA, New Mexico Highlands University
  • JD, University of New Mexico (2001)

Political career

New Mexico State Auditor (2006 - Present)

Uncovers fake NMFA audit

On July 12, 2012, Balderas announced that his office had uncovered that the 2011 FY independent audit of the New Mexico Finance Authority had been faked. A few months earlier NMFA had been designated by the State Auditor's office as "at risk" for fraud for failing to submit the audit. When the matter was looked into they discovered the fake report, which had apparently been provided to credit agencies and lenders but not to the State Auditor.[5]

Balderas stated, "I am moving aggressively to determine the full extent of this fraud perpetrated against New Mexico's taxpayers. I'm extremely concerned that a report was fraudulently created in order to misrepresent the Authority's financial condition to agencies, investors and the public."[6]

Created by the state legislature in 1992, the NMFA assists local governments with infrastructure projects.[7]

New Mexico House of Representatives (2005 - 2006)

As a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives, Balderas helped pass legislation to strengthen penalties for sexual predators, establish investment incentives for clean energy and fund virtual education for rural public schools.[4]



See also: New Mexico attorney general election, 2014 and New Mexico down ballot state executive elections, 2014

Balderas is ineligible to run for re-election as New Mexico Auditor in 2014 due to term limits. On April 30, 2013, he announced officially that heran for New Mexico Attorney General.[3] The general election took place November 4, 2014.


See also: United States Senate elections in New Mexico, 2012

On April 26, 2011, Balderas officially announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Jeff Bingaman (D).[8] He lost to Martin Heinrich in the June 5 Democratic primary.[2]

Before the primary, pollster Brian Sanderoff said, "Heinrich has more name recognition and more money, but typically Spanish surnames on Election Day do a little better than expected in a Democratic primary."[9] A poll taken in mid-May had Heinrich defeating Balderas in the Democratic primary 51 percent to 26 percent.[10]

The University of Virginia's Center for Politics published an article called Sabato's Crystal Ball on March 22, 2012 detailing the 8 races in the Senate in 2012 that would decide the political fate of which party would end up with control in 2013.[11] The seat rated a toss-up that the Sabato's Crystal Ball believed was most likely to end up Democratic is the Senate seat in New Mexico. The article noted that the state had generally been leaning Democratic and did not become a race with much interest until the incumbent Jeff Bingaman announced he would retire rather than seek re-election in 2012.[11] The Republican challenger Heather Wilson was expected to give Republicans a "fighting chance in a tough state for them".[11][12]

U.S. Senate-New Mexico Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMartin Heinrich 58.9% 83,432
Hector Balderas 41.1% 58,128
Total Votes 141,560

Campaign themes

According to his website, Balderas' campaign platform included the following issues[13]:

  • Investment in education and clean energy
  • Balanced budget through fraud reduction and higher taxes on corporations
  • Loan modification programs to reduce foreclosures


Balderas was endorsed by two local firefighters unions, five AFSCME locals, and The Santa Fe New Mexican, among others.[14] A full list of endorsements is available on his website.


Balderas won re-election as state auditor in the November 2010 election, defeating Republican Errol Chavez.[15]

New Mexico State Auditor, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngHector Balderas Incumbent 55.2% 323,427
     Republican Errol Chavez 44.8% 263,008
Total Votes 586,435
Election Results via New Mexico Secretary of State

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Balderas is available dating back to 2004. Based on available campaign finance records, Balderas raised a total of $642,316 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 21, 2013.[16]

Hector Balderas's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 New Mexico Auditor Not up for election $7,325
2010 New Mexico Auditor Won $228,449
2008 New Mexico Auditor Not up for election $34,628
2006 NM Auditor/NM House of Representatives* Won $290,609
2004 NM House of Representatives Won $81,305
Grand Total Raised $642,316
In 2006, Balderas raised $244,377 for the Auditor's race, which he won, and $46,232 for the House race, which he also won.


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 Hector Balderas's donors each year.[17] Click [show] for more information.


Balderas was named Rookie Leader of the Year by the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, Outstanding Rookie by the League of Conservation Voters, and Outstanding Young Lawyer of New Mexico by the New Mexico State Bar Association.

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See also

External links

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  1. Washington Post, "Latino leaders pessimistic about new Latino districts," September 1, 2011
  2. 2.0 2.1 Associated Press "New Mexico - Summary Vote Results," June 6, 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 Current-Argus, "NM state auditor running for attorney general," April 30, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Office of the New Mexico State Auditor, "About Hector Balderas," accessed February 2, 2012
  5. New Mexico Watchdog, "$1.26 Billion in New Mexico Bonds Face Downgrade After Discovery of Fraudulent NMFA Audit/ Updated: NMFA Calls Emergency Meeting," July 14, 2012
  6. Office of the New Mexico State Auditor, "State Auditor Balderas Confirms and Uncovers Fraudulent Financial Audit Report of the New Mexico Finance Authority," July 12, 2012
  7. San Francisco Chronicle, "NM Finance Authority's ex-accountant pleads guilty," July 20, 2012
  8. KOB, "Hector Balderas announces candidacy for US Senate," April 26, 2011
  9. Associated Press "Gloves stay on in quiet NM Senate primary," May 24, 2012
  10. Huffington Post "NM-2012 Senate Democratic Primary: 51% Heinrich, 26% Balderas (Albuquerque Journal 5/21-24)," May 30, 2012
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Center for Politics "Tilting the Toss Ups – the Eight Races That Will Decide the Senate" Accessed April 9, 2012
  12. New Mexico Secretary of State "2012 Primary Results"
  13. Hector Balderas campaign website "Issues," Accessed May 26, 2012
  14. Hector Balderas campaign website "Endorsements," Accessed May 26, 2012
  15. New Mexico Secretary of State, "November 2010 General Election Results," retrieved May 18, 2011
  16. Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Hector Balderas," accessed May 21, 2013
  17. Follow the Money.org, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
Political offices
Preceded by
Domingo Martinez (D)
New Mexico State Auditor
Succeeded by