Martin Heinrich

Martin Heinrich
United States Senator
from New Mexico
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Serving with Tom Udall
Preceded by Jeff Bingaman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Mexico's 1st district
In office
January 3, 2009  January 3, 2013
Preceded by Heather Wilson
Succeeded by Michelle Lujan Grisham
Personal details
Born Martin Trevor Heinrich
(1971-10-17) October 17, 1971
Fallon, Nevada, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Julie Heinrich
Children 2
Alma mater University of Missouri, Columbia
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
Religion Lutheranism
Website Senate website
Campaign website

Martin Trevor Heinrich (born October 17, 1971) is an American politician and businessman, the junior United States Senator for New Mexico, in office since 2013. From 2009 to 2013 Heinrich was the U.S. Representative for New Mexico's 1st congressional district. He is a member of the Democratic Party. Heinrich won the Senate seat vacated by retiring Senator Jeff Bingaman in 2012. Heinrich was mentioned as a possible nominee for vice president in 2016 under Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.[1] However fellow Missourian and Senator Tim Kaine from Virginia was later selected for the ticket.[2]

Early life, education, and business career

Martin Trevor Heinrich was born in Fallon, Nevada, a town located in the state's western portion, not far from Reno and the state capital of Carson City. Heinrich is the son of Shirley A. (née Bybee), a seamstress, and Peter C. Heinrich, a utility company lineman.[3][4] Raised as a Lutheran, Heinrich and his parents are of German ancestry. Now based in Albuquerque, Heinrich grew up in the town of Cole Camp, Missouri, located near Missouri's fifth largest city, Columbia.[5]

Heinrich was educated and went to local public schools in Cole Camp, then moved to nearby Columbia in 1989 to attend the University of Missouri. He graduated in 1995 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering,[4] and later left his native Missouri, settling in Albuquerque, New Mexico to take graduate courses at the University of New Mexico.[6] After a brief stint doing mechanical drawings,[4] Heinrich worked as an AmeriCorps fellow in New Mexico.[7]

From 1996 to 2001, he served as executive director of the Cottonwood Gulch Foundation, a New Mexico non-profit organization dedicated to educating young people on natural science and the environment.[6] In 2002, Heinrich founded his own public affairs consulting firm.[4][6]

Early political career

Heinrich served on the Albuquerque City Council from 2003 to 2007, which included one term as City Council President in 2006.[8] As a city councilman, he stated that his goals were to reduce crime, raise the minimum wage and create new jobs. He also advocated the use of wind and solar power.[6]

In February 2006, he was appointed by Governor Bill Richardson to be the state's Natural Resources Trustee.[9]

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.[10] He 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%.[11][12]

In the general election, Heinrich faced Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White, whom Heinrich's campaign focused on linking to President George W. Bush.[13] Heinrich also called for energy independence and an end to the war in Iraq.[13] 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.[14] Upon his swearing in on January 3, 2009, he became the first Democrat to represent the district. The district 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 not supported a Republican for president since 1988.


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.[15] 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 to help in fundraising, messaging and campaign strategy.[16] 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.[17]


Congressman Martin Heinrich

On January 14, 2009, Heinrich was elected to a six-month term as class president by the House Democratic freshmen.[18] He co-sponsored the Stop the Congressional Pay Raise Act, which would cancel an automatic $4,700 salary raise for members of Congress.[19]

Health Care

On March 21, 2010, Heinrich voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly called Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act).[20]


NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC endorsed Heinrich in 2010.[21][22][22]

Heinrich received a 100% score from NARAL in 2009.[23]


Heinrich has identified himself as an environmentalist throughout his career. He served as Executive Director of the Cottonwood Gulch Foundation,[24] a New Mexico non-profit organization dedicated to educating young people on natural science and the environment, and founded his own public affairs consulting firm.[6]

Later, as a member of the Albuquerque City Council, he advocated for the use of wind and solar power.[6] In February 2006, he was appointed by Governor Bill Richardson to be the state's Natural Resources Trustee.[9] He also served on the executive committee of the Sierra Club's Rio Grande Chapter.[25] In August 2011, he received the Sierra Club's first endorsement of the 2012 election cycle.[25][26] He opposes construction of the Keystone Pipeline. He supports cap-and-trade legislation.[27]

Same-sex marriage

In 2008, Heinrich stated, "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."[28]

After his 2012 Senate primary opponent, Hector Balderas, announced his support for same-sex marriage,[28] 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!"[29] He was an original cosponsor of Congressman Jerry Nadler's 2009 legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.[30]

Gun rights

Heinrich opposed legislation (HR 45) that would have re-instated the expired Federal Assault Weapons Ban.[31] Heinrich supported bills to create a national standard for the concealed carrying of firearms across state lines, and co-sponsored legislation that would ease the restrictions on the sales of firearms across state lines.[32] The National Rifle Association endorsed Heinrich during the 2010 congressional election. At that time, he received a grade of "A" from the NRA on his stance with regards to Second Amendment rights.[33]

Ojito Wilderness

In 2008, Heinrich was criticized by the New Mexico Republican Party 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.[34]

Armed forces

Heinrich was a member of the House Armed Services Committee.[35] During his time in Congress, Heinrich has maintained strong opposition to the war in Iraq, and supports a swift end of combat operations in Afghanistan.[36]

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.[37]

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.[38] In March, Politico reported that Al Gore had signed a fundraising letter for Heinrich.[39] Heinrich defeated State Auditor Hector Balderas in the Democratic primary.[40] Heinrich faced Republican Heather Wilson, his predecessor in Congress, in the general election on November 6, 2012. He defeated Wilson, 51% to 45%.


Gun laws

On April 17, 2013, Heinrich voted to expand background checks for gun purchases.[41]

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.[42]

Committee assignments

Bipartisan survival trip

In 2014, Heinrich and Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona traveled to a small island called Eru in the Marshall Islands. The Discovery Channel sent a film crew to document their trip and plan 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 go on the trip to demonstrate that politicians from different political parties can work together, and in their case, to survive.[44][45]

Electoral history

New Mexico's 1st congressional district Democratic primary election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Democratic Martin Heinrich 22,341 43.51%
Democratic Rebecca Vigil-Giron 12,660 24.66%
Democratic Michelle Lujan Grisham 12,074 23.51%
Democratic Robert Pidcock 4,273 8.32%
New Mexico's 1st congressional district election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Democratic Martin Heinrich 166,271 55.65%
Republican Darren White 132,485 44.35%
New Mexico's 1st congressional district election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Democratic Martin Heinrich (incumbent) 112,707 51.88%
Republican Jonathan Barela 104,543 48.12%
U.S. Senate Democratic primary election in New Mexico, 2012
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Democratic Martin Heinrich 83,432 58.94%
Democratic Hector Balderas 58,128 41.06%
U.S. Senate election in New Mexico, 2012
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Democratic Martin Heinrich 395,717 51.01%
Republican Heather Wilson 351,259 45.28%
Independent American Jon Ross Barrie 28,199 3.63%
Write-in Robert Anderson 617 0.08%


  1. "Top 15 Hillary Running Mates for 2016". March 7, 2016. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  2. "Hillary Clinton Selects Tim Kaine, a Popular Senator From a Swing State, as Running Mate". Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  3. "Martin Heinrich genealogy". Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Democrat Martin Heinrich Seeks U.S. Senate Seat". Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  5. Keller, Rudi (December 9, 2012). "U.S. Senate will have trio of MU graduates". Columbia Daily Tribune. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Martin's Story". Martin Heinrich for Congress. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007.
  7. "Sen. Martin Heinrich". Sunlight Foundation. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  8. "Heinrich, Martin (D)". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on August 6, 2009.
  9. 1 2 "Governor Bill Richardson Appoints Martin Heinrich as Natural Resources Trustee" (PDF). Office of the Governor. February 28, 2006.
  10. Haussamen, Heath (April 11, 2007). "The race to run against Wilson is heating up". Heath Haussamen on New Mexico Politics.
  11. "NM District 1- D Primary Race". Our Campaigns. June 3, 2008. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  12. FINAL RESULTS: June 3 primary election, Las Cruces Sun-News, June 20, 2008.
  13. 1 2 James, Randy (October 15, 2008). "Races to Watch '08: A New Mexico Republican Can't Shake Bush". TIME Magazine. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  14. "NM - District 01 Race". Our Campaigns. November 4, 2008. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  15. Matthew Reichbach. "Jon Barela to Politico: Martin Heinrich is 'too far left'". The New Mexico Independent. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  16. Matthew Reichbach (June 16, 2010). "Report: DCCC assigned lobbyists to help Heinrich, Teague". Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  17. "NM - District 01 Race". Our Campaigns. November 2, 2010. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  18. "Representative Martin Heinrich Elected President of the Democratic Freshman Class". Congressman Martin Heinrich. January 14, 2009. Archived from the original on August 5, 2009.
  19. "Rep. Martin Heinrich Co-Sponsors Legislation to Freeze Congressional Pay Raises". Congressman Martin Heinrich. January 23, 2009. Archived from the original on February 14, 2009.
  20. "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 165" (XML). Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  21. "Heinrich, Martin: NARAL Pro-Choice America". Retrieved August 15, 2011.
  22. 1 2 "NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC Endorses Martin Heinrich in Key U.S. House Contest: NARAL Pro-Choice America" (PDF). October 9, 2009. Archived from the original on August 21, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2011.
  23. "NARAL Pro-Choice America's 2009 Congressional Record on Choice" (PDF). January 5, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 21, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2011.
  24. "Board of Trustees". Cottonwood Gulch Foundation.
  25. 1 2 Wold, Barbara (August 5, 2011). "Sierra Club Endorses Martin Heinrich for U.S. Senate". Retrieved August 15, 2011.
  26. "2012 Endorsements". Retrieved August 15, 2011.
  27. Coleman, Michael (December 15, 2011). "Fray Over Oil Pipeline, Payroll Tax Cut". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  28. 1 2 "Hector Balderas Says He Supports Gay Marriage". August 1, 2011. Retrieved August 15, 2011.
  29. Monahan, Joe (August 11, 2011). "Heinrich Joins Balderas On Gay Marriage; He Now Favors It". Retrieved August 15, 2011.
  30. "H.R.3567 – Respect for Marriage Act of 2009". Open Congress. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  31. ""Assault Weapons" Ban Goes Down By Decisive Margin". Outside the Beltway.
  32. [, Martin Heinrich on Gun Control,; accessed September 9, 2012.
  33. "NRA Endorses Heinrich, Lujan, Teague". New Mexico Independent. Archived from the original on October 6, 2010.
  34. Haussamen, Heath (September 16, 2008). "GOP hammers Heinrich on 'lobbying', skipping debate". Retrieved March 19, 2012.
  35. "Committee Assignments". Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  36. "Issues: National security and foreign policy". Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  37. "Heinrich Votes Against Flawed Defense Authorization Bill". Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  38. Kindy, Kimberly (April 3, 2011). "Heinrich to run for Senate in New Mexico". The Washington Post.
  39. Matthew Reichbach. "Al Gore sent fundraising letter for Rep. Martin Heinrich". The New Mexico Independent. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  40. "Wilson, Heinrich win N.M. Senate primary". UPI. June 6, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  41. "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 113th Congress – 1st Session". Legislation & Records. United States Senate. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  42. "U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > S.Amdt.1974". Retrieved September 27, 2013.
  44. Appleton, Kirsten (September 11, 2014). "Republican and Democratic Senators Stranded Together on Deserted Island". ABC News. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  45. O'Keefe, Ed (September 11, 2014). "Jeff Flake, Martin Heinrich head to a deserted island". Washington Post. Retrieved September 26, 2014.

Further reading

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Martin Heinrich.
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
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Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Mexico's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
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Preceded by
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Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from New Mexico
(Class 1)

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