Taos Pueblo endorses Las Vegas native for Congress

By John Miller
jmiller@taosnews.com
Posted 9/3/19

The Taos Pueblo Tribal Council has endorsed Las Vegas native and Santa Fe attorney Teresa Leger Fernandez in a crowded race for New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District.

“Teresa has …

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Taos Pueblo endorses Las Vegas native for Congress

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Taos Pueblo has endorsed Las Vegas native and Santa Fe attorney Teresa Leger Fernandez in a crowded race for New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District.

“Teresa has served Taos Pueblo as its general counsel with integrity, wisdom, passion, a clear understanding of our tribal sovereignty and deep knowledge of our community needs. The Taos Pueblo Tribal Council is pleased to endorse her for the 3rd Congressional District of New Mexico,” Taos Pueblo Gov. Richard Aspenwind wrote in a prepared statement.

Fernandez, a Democrat, announced her candidacy in April after working for nearly 30 years as a legal counselor and business advisor to Native American tribes throughout New Mexico.

After graduating from Yale University and Stanford Law School, Fernandez returned to New Mexico to found her law firm with the goal of creating positive social impacts throughout the state. In addition to tribal governments, Fernandez has represented minority-owned businesses and community organizations, specializing in civil rights, affordable housing and community development.

In the political arena, former President Bill Clinton appointed Fernandez as a White House Fellow during his administration. Fernandez has also worked on affordable housing and community development initiatives as a White House liaison at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 2015, President Barack Obama appointed her to serve as vice chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, according to biographical information provided on her campaign website.

In a resolution signed by the Taos Pueblo tribal council earlier this year endorsing Fernandez’s candidacy, councilors recognized her work to help preserve the tribe’s “financial, cultural and land resources, protecting its sovereign rights and promoting business development.”

The resolution notes that Fernandez helped draft and pass into law the first tribal-state tax agreement, “and has participated in the successful passage of every other tribal-state tax agreement since 1995.”

Fernandez faces heavy competition in the race to replace Democratic Congressman Ben Ray Luján, who is running for the U.S. Senate. A total of 12 other Democrats and one Republican are vying for the House seat.

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