Courtesy CPilar Law
Deb Haaland: “It is 2014 and women are doing more and I always encourage young people to get their educations and step outside of their comfort zones and do something that they feel will have an impact on people's lives.”

Deb Haaland Discusses Her Run for New Mexico’s Lt. Governor

Vincent Schilling

Democratic Lt. Governor Candidate Debra Haaland has just become the first Native American on a New Mexico gubernatorial ticket in the state’s history. Having secured several high profile endorsements early in her run, she will be running unopposed in the June Democratic primary.

Haaland, a member of the Pueblo of Laguna that serves as a Tribal Administrator at the Pueblo of San Felipe is a longtime Democratic organizer having worked successfully on President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

Additionally, she is the first female Chair of the Laguna Development Corporation (LDC) Board of Directors and was appointed by the Laguna Tribal Council. The LDC is the second largest gaming enterprise in the State of New Mexico.

In an interview with ICTMN, Haaland took some time to share her thoughts about her achievements and how she has achieved such success as a single mom who has a daughter now in college.

What is your response to securing the democratic nomination for lieutenant governor of New Mexico?

We are really excited about it. We started out with a really high-profile endorsement which may have helped to discourage other people that were thinking about jumping into the race. I am the first Native American on the statewide gubernatorial ticket. I am now running unopposed – our one opposition did not qualify.

I have a very experienced team and this will be our third election together. It was kind of a quiet celebration. We were texting back and forth. I think my campaign manager Scottie Tillman was more excited than I was. It is always nice to be the first at something right?

As you said, you are the first Native American on a gubernatorial ticket – why has it taken this long?

I have worked with tribes for a long time so I understand how their governments work and I know a lot of tribal leaders. This is just my theory but I think one of the reasons why we have not had a Native American on the statewide gubernatorial ticket is because a lot of men have a lot of obligations at their respective communities.

I think that has something to do with people being available. I am not married and I have one daughter who is in college, so I felt like I had the time as well. I know how to work hard.

What type of work have you done for the Pueblo of San Felipe?

I am a tribal administrator so I run all of the consolidated federal programs. There are two administrators there so between us we also manage all of the political things for the administration. It is a lot of political, legislative and intergovernmental relationship work between the federal and state governments for the tribe. I love it though I love working with Indian people.


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