The Son of an Immigrant Lineman and a Factory Worker
Martin Heinrich is a natural problem solver committed to helping others. Martin is working to build a safer and more prosperous New Mexico — there’s much more to do, but he won’t stop until every New Mexican is thriving.
Where Martin Got His Values
His father Pete immigrated to America in the 1930s as a young boy. Just a few years later he joined the Navy and served in the Pacific where he would witness two of America’s nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands. Later he entered the trades and became a IBEW lineman with the local utility company. Martin’s mother Shirley is the daughter of Idaho homesteaders and was a seamstress before later working in an automobile wheel factory. Neither of his parents have a college degree, but they both taught Martin that in America anything is possible if you work hard and play by the rules.
Martin earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia. To make ends meet Martin worked throughout his college years. His jobs varied from cooking pizza to working at the 10 megawatt nuclear reactor on campus. It was also during this period that Martin’s interest in clean energy began. He joined a group of engineering students who together designed and built a carbon fiber solar powered car called the “Sun Tiger” that they raced across the United States.
Mizzou was where Martin met Julie Hicks. The two met through a mutual friend and connected instantly, sharing a love of adventure, travel and the outdoors. They settled in Albuquerque after college and got married in 1998.
Martin began his career working at Phillips Labs (now known as the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base) on directed energy — a technology he would later champion in the Senate. Martin would go on to work as an AmeriCorps fellow before becoming the executive director of the Cottonwood Gulch Foundation, a nonprofit focused on educating young people about science, natural history, and the environment. He later founded a public affairs firm focused on helping nonprofit organizations.
A Natural Problem Solver
Recognizing his strong record of achievement on environmental issues, then-Governor Bill Richardson appointed Martin as the Natural Resources Trustee for the state of New Mexico. As trustee, Martin worked with the Governor to restore New Mexico’s land and water resources.
Feeling that the nation was veering alarmingly off track during the Iraq War, Martin decided to bring his level-headed leadership to Congress. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008 to a seat that had never before elected a Democrat. A dedicated servant-leader, Martin gained a reputation as a hard worker who stood by the courage of his convictions, no matter what the political cost. When others ran from their vote on the Affordable Care Act, Martin campaigned on it, winning a second term in a year when dozens of Democrats lost their seats.
Senator Martin Heinrich
As a public servant, Martin never cared about checking boxes or scoring points. His priority has always been representing the interests of New Mexico. So when legendary New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman announced his retirement in 2011, Martin saw an opportunity to help New Mexicans in every corner of the state.
Since being elected to the Senate in 2012, Martin has been a leading voice on issues ranging from energy and public lands to immigration and civil liberties.
Martin serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, where he is leading the fight to create jobs, propel our economy into the energy future, and address climate change. On the Armed Services Committee, Martin has worked tirelessly to secure funding and missions for our military installations, invest in the technology and careers of tomorrow, and is dedicated to making sure we keep our promises to our servicemembers and veterans. In his role on the Intelligence Committee, Martin has been a key member of the investigation into Russia’s efforts to interfere in America’s 2016 election and possible collusion between Russia and then-candidate Trump’s presidential campaign. And as ranking member on the Joint Economic Committee, Martin is working to grow rural economies and raise workers’ wages.
Martin spends his free time with Julie, their sons Carter and Micah, and their dog, Ella.