Born and raised in New Mexico, Senator Richard Martinez grew up in Guachupangue, a small farming community north of Santa Fe and Espanola: boarded by the Tewa Indian Tribal Pueblos of Santa Clara and Ohkay Owienge (formerly known as San Juan Pueblo). This is where he learned the time-honored traditions and values of Northern New Mexico. His education includes graduation from Espanola High School and Northern New Mexico TVI in El Rito, and attendance at Northern New Mexico Community College.
Richard was elected to represent Senate District 5, which consisted of Los Alamos, Rio Arriba and Northern Santa Fe Counties in 2001. He is currently the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and serves as a member of the Senate Conservation Committee. Conservation is very important to our district, because of the vast amounts of acequia and water associations, farms, ranches and Land Grants, also known as Mercedes in Northern New Mexico.
Senator Martinez was honored to receive the 2011 Milagro Award of the Fiftieth Legislature, First Session and the following statement was among his accolades:
"This intelligent, well reasoned and articulate statesman has been referred to fondly by former Governor Bill Richardson as El Tigre del Norte, by many of his constituents as El Jefe, by the late Senator Emilio Naranajo as mi hijo, and most fondly by Senator Pete Campos as El Rey del Norte.Â Senator Martinez lights up a room with his kind ways, warm smile, jolly attitude and charismatic charm."
Richard served as a Magistrate Judge for fourteen years prior to retirement and he served four years as the Rio Arriba County Treasurer.
Senator Martinez also served as the Rio Arriba Democratic Party Chairman and was elected in 2010 to serve as Chairman of the Hispanic Caucus of New Mexico State Legislators.
Upon retirement Senator Martinez had 28 years of state and local government experience, and after eleven years as a New Mexico State Senator he completing 29 years as an elected County and State Official.
Winner of the 2011 Milagro Award