Teresa Leger Fernandez

Teresa Isabel Leger Fernandez (/tɛˈrɛsɑː ˈlɛər fɛrnɑːndɛs/ teh-RESS-ah LEDGE-ər fehr-NAHN-dess; born July 1, 1959)[1][2] is an American attorney and politician representing New Mexico's 3rd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives.[3][4]

Teresa Leger Fernandez
Teresa Leger Fernandez 117th Congress portrait 2.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Mexico's 3rd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2021
Preceded byBen Ray Luján
Personal details
Born
Teresa Leger

(1959-07-01) July 1, 1959 (age 62)
Las Vegas, New Mexico, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Luis Fernandez (divorced)
Children3
RelativesRay Leger (father)
EducationYale University (BA)
Stanford University (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

Early life and educationEdit

Leger Fernandez was born in Las Vegas, New Mexico.[5] Her mother was a bilingual educator and her father, Ray Leger, served as a member of the New Mexico Senate.[6] After graduating from West Las Vegas High School, Leger Fernandez earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University and a Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School.[7]

CareerEdit

After graduating from law school, Leger Fernandez returned to New Mexico to work as an attorney, specializing in community-building and tribal advocacy. She was a White House Fellow during the Clinton Administration and later served on the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation during the Obama Administration.[8][9] She also worked as a liaison between the White House Office and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. For 30 years, Leger Fernandez has operated Leger Law and Strategy, LLC in Santa Fe. The firm focuses on community development, tribal advocacy, civil rights, and social justice.[10][11] In 2017, she led a successful effort to implement ranked-choice voting in Santa Fe's municipal elections.[12]

U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit

ElectionsEdit

2020Edit

After incumbent Representative Ben Ray Luján announced that he would not seek reelection in 2020 and instead run for the United States Senate seat being vacated by Tom Udall, Leger Fernandez announced her candidacy to succeed Luján. In the Democratic primary, Leger Fernandez faced six opponents, including New Mexico State Representative Joseph L. Sanchez and Valerie Plame, an author and former CIA officer.[13] During the primary, Leger Fernandez was criticized for attack ads against Plame, including one that featured swastikas superimposed over Plame's eyes, a reference to past comments of Plame's that were perceived as anti-Semitic.[14] In response, Leger Fernandez denied any involvement with the ads.[15] Leger Fernandez was also criticized for so-called "dark money" groups that do not disclose their donors.[16] She said that her campaign had no connection to the ads or the groups that sponsored them and the groups, pledging her support for campaign finance reform.[17] During the campaign, Leger Fernandez was endorsed by Congresswoman Deb Haaland, EMILY's List, and The Santa Fe New Mexican.[18][19]

A political progressive, Leger Fernandez was also endorsed by the Working Families Party, Elizabeth Warren, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.[20] She placed first in the primary with over 42% of the vote.[21]

In the November general election, Leger Fernandez defeated Republican nominee Alexis Johnson. She assumed office on January 3, 2021.[22][23]

TenureEdit

Committee assignmentEdit

Caucus membershipEdit

Political positionsEdit

Leger Fernandez has advocated a "New Mexico Green New Deal", Medicare for All, a transition from fracking to green energy, and a ban on the sale of military-style semi-automatic rifles.[26] She has also supported comprehensive immigration reform and the DREAM Act.[27]

Personal lifeEdit

Leger Fernandez and her ex-husband, Luis Fernandez, have three sons.[28]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Baker, Damare (November 30, 2020). "Rep.-elect Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-N.M.-03)". The Hill. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  2. ^ "Teresa Leger Fernandez". Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  3. ^ "New Mexico Primary Election Results: Third Congressional District". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  4. ^ Medina, Jennifer (June 3, 2020). "Teresa Leger Fernandez Beats Valerie Plame in New Mexico House Primary". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  5. ^ Reporter, Megan Bennett | Journal North. "Santa Fe lawyer kicks off campaign for Congress". www.abqjournal.com. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  6. ^ Grover, Hannah. "Election 2020: Teresa Leger Fernandez hopes to represent Congressional District 3". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
  7. ^ mgerstein@sfnewmexican.com, Michael Gerstein. "Leger Fernandez wins Democratic primary for 3rd Congressional District seat". Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  8. ^ Grover, Hannah. "Election 2020: Teresa Leger Fernandez hopes to represent Congressional District 3". Farmington Daily Times. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  9. ^ "MEET TERESA". Teresa 4 All. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  10. ^ "Birth Date", Definitions, Qeios, February 7, 2020, doi:10.32388/tmgchm
  11. ^ "Teresa Leger de Fernandez, Rebellious Lawyer". Rebellious Lawyering Institute #RebelliousLawyering. January 7, 2015. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  12. ^ Editor, T. S. Last | Journal North. "Democratic nominee in CD3 inspired by state senator father". www.abqjournal.com. Retrieved June 9, 2020.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  13. ^ "Santa Fe lawyer Leger Fernandez running for Congress". AP NEWS. May 16, 2019. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  14. ^ mgerstein@sfnewmexican.com, Michael Gerstein. "Candidates jab Leger Fernandez over ad attacking Plame". Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  15. ^ "Fernandez defeats Valerie Plame in New Mexico House primary". Star Tribune. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
  16. ^ "'Dark money' groups back CD3 hopeful in packed N.M. primary". The Taos News. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  17. ^ mgerstein@sfnewmexican.com, Michael Gerstein. "Candidates criticize 'dark money' spending on behalf of Leger Fernandez". Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  18. ^ Panetta, Grace. "LIVE UPDATES: Valerie Plame and Teresa Leger Fernandez compete in the primary for New Mexico's third district". Business Insider. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  19. ^ "Endorsements". Teresa 4 All. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  20. ^ Blaber, Mona (January 23, 2020). "Sierra Club endorses Teresa Leger Fernandez for U.S. House". Rio Grande Chapter. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
  21. ^ mgerstein@sfnewmexican.com, Michael Gerstein. "With clear primary victory, Leger Fernandez eyes November". Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
  22. ^ "Teresa Leger Fernandez will take U.S. House District 3 seat". KRQE News 13 Albuquerque - Santa Fe. November 4, 2020. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  23. ^ Grover, Hannah. "Leger Fernandez wins Democratic nomination for CD3, Johnson leads in Republican primary". Farmington Daily Times. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  24. ^ "Pelosi Announces Additional Committee Assignments for 117th Congress". Speaker Nancy Pelosi. December 18, 2020. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  25. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved January 28, 2021.
  26. ^ "Editorial: Our picks for president, Congress". The Taos News. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  27. ^ Candidate, The. "Q&A: U.S. House District 3 Teresa Leger Fernandez". www.abqjournal.com. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  28. ^ "Teresa Leger Fernandez For NM US Congress In District Three". Retake Our Democracy. May 23, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2020.

External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Mexico's 3rd congressional district

2021–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
403rd
Succeeded by