Joseph Montoya
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Joseph Montoya

Joseph Montoya
Joseph M Montoya.jpg
United States Senator
from New Mexico

November 4, 1964 - January 3, 1977
Edwin L. Mechem
Harrison Schmitt
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Mexico's at-large district

April 9, 1957 - November 3, 1964
Antonio M. Fernández
Johnny Walker
14th and 16th Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico

January 1, 1955 - April 9, 1957
GovernorJohn F. Simms
Edwin L. Mechem
Tibo J. Chávez
Ed V. Mead

January 1, 1947 - January 1, 1951
GovernorThomas J. Mabry
James B. Jones
Tibo J. Chávez
Personal details
Joseph Manuel Montoya

(1915-09-24)September 24, 1915
Pena Blanca, New Mexico, U.S.
DiedJune 5, 1978(1978-06-05) (aged 62)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Della Romero
EducationRegis University (BA)
Georgetown University (LLB)

Joseph Manuel Montoya (September 24, 1915 – June 5, 1978) was an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who served as the lieutenant governor of New Mexico (1947-1951 and 1955-1957), in the U.S. House of Representatives (1957-1964) and as a U.S. senator from New Mexico (1964-1977).

Early life and education

Montoya was born in Peña Blanca, New Mexico. His parents, Thomas and Frances Montoya, were Roman Catholic descendants of eighteenth-century Spanish settlers to New Mexico.[1] He received his early education in public schools in Sandoval County and graduated from Bernalillo High School in 1931. He continued his education at Regis College in Denver, Colorado. In 1934, he began law school at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C..

In 1936 at age 21, while Montoya was still at Georgetown, he became the youngest representative in the history of the state to be elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives. In 1938 Montoya graduated from law school and was reelected. The following year, he was elected the Democratic majority floor leader.


Montoya was elected to the New Mexico Senate in 1940, once again becoming the youngest member of that body ever elected. By the time he left the Senate in 1946, Montoya had been twice reelected to the State Senate and held the positions of majority whip and Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. From 1947 to 1957 he was elected Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico three times[2] and also served two additional terms in the State Senate.

In 1957 Montoya was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in a special election after the sudden death of the recently reelected New Mexican Congressman Antonio M. Fernández. In Congress Montoya gained a recognition as a political moderate, a dedicated Democrat, and a diligent legislator -- qualities that earned him the esteem of his fellow legislators and made him an effective congressman. In 1962, he defeated Republican Jack C. Redman, M.D.

In 1963, he became a member of the House Appropriations Committee where he was a strong advocate of education measures and soon authored the Vocational Education Act. In 1964, he sponsored the Wilderness Act, which protected wilderness areas. Montoya won the 1964 Senate election to complete the term of Dennis Chavez, who died in office. Montoya won even though the Governor of New Mexico, Edwin L. Mechem, had resigned the governorship in order fill the seat temporarily. Thus began a twelve-year career in the Senate, where he served on the Appropriations Committee, the Public Works Committee, the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, and Senate Watergate Committee.

In 1976, a year that was a Democratic victory nationwide, Montoya was defeated by Republican Harrison Schmitt 57% to 42%.


Montoya died in Washington, D.C. at the age of 62.

See also


  1. ^ Spanish Americans, Lives and faces
  2. ^ State of New Mexico (July 2012). Kathryn A. Flynn (ed.). 2012 Centennial Blue Book (PDF). Diana J. Duran. Office of the New Mexico Secretary of State. pp. 218-219. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 24, 2015. Retrieved 2013.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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