David Cargo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
David Cargo
David F. Cargo 2006.jpg
22nd Governor of New Mexico
In office
January 1, 1967 – January 1, 1971
Lieutenant Lee Francis
Preceded by Jack Campbell
Succeeded by Bruce King
Member of the New Mexico House of Representatives
In office
January 1, 1963 – January 1, 1967
Personal details
Born David Francis Cargo
(1929-01-13)January 13, 1929
Dowagiac, Michigan, U.S.
Died July 5, 2013(2013-07-05) (aged 84)
Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Ida Jo Cargo
Alma mater University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1953-1955

David Francis Cargo (January 13, 1929 – July 5, 2013) was the 22nd Governor of New Mexico, having served between 1967 and 1971.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Cargo was born in Dowagiac, Michigan,[1] the eldest of three children born to Francis and Mary (née Harton) Cargo.[2] He was a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School (LLB: 1957).[1]

He represented the Albuquerque area in the New Mexico House of Representatives from 1963 to 1967, when he was elected governor at the age of thirty-seven.[1] As a representative he won one of the first lawsuits forcing proportional representation in the state legislature.[1] He remains one of the youngest governors elected to date in U.S. history, along with Harold Stassen in Minnesota (1938), Bill Clinton in Arkansas (1978), Christopher "Kit" Bond and Matt Blunt in Missouri (1972) and (2004), respectively, and Bobby Jindal in Louisiana (2007).[citation needed]

Election as governor, 1966 and 1968[edit]

Cargo was considered a liberal Republican, more in the Nelson Rockefeller mode than in the Barry Goldwater image.[citation needed] He had difficulty winning the Republican primaries in both 1966 and 1968; both times he faced State Representative Clifford J. Hawley of Santa Fe.[3] In 1966, Cargo won with 17,836 (51.8 percent) to Hawley's 16,588 (48.2 percent).[4] He improved in 1968, when he defeated Hawley, 28,014 (54.9 percent) to 23,052 (45.1 percent).[5]

Cargo won the general election of 1966, when he barely defeated Democrat Gene Lusk.[citation needed] Cargo received 134,625 votes (51.7 percent) to Lusk's 125,587 (48.3 percent).[4] Running again in 1968, Cargo won by an even smaller margin, 160,140 (50.5 percent) to Democrat Fabian Chavez Jr.,'s 157,230 ballots (49.5 percent).[5]

As governor, Cargo started the state film commission, which has brought millions of dollars in revenue to the state of New Mexico.[6] Cargo established ties to Hollywood and was even asked to appear in several films.[citation needed] In 1971 he made a cameo appearance in Bunny O'Hare, which starred Bette Davis and Ernest Borgnine, as well as in Up in the Cellar (1970), which starred Larry Hagman and Joan Collins.[citation needed] During his first campaign for governor, he was known as "Lonesome Dave."[6]

Later losing campaigns[edit]

Cargo could not seek a third two-year term in 1970.[citation needed] Gubernatorial terms were changed to one four-year term in which you could not seek consecutive re-election with the 1970 election, and subsequently two four-year terms with the 1990 election.[7] Cargo hence ran for the U.S. Senate in 1970, but he lost the Republican primary to the conservative choice, Anderson "Andy" Carter.[8] Carter polled 32,122 (57.8 percent) to Cargo's 17,951 (32.3 percent).[9] Andy Carter then lost the general election to incumbent Democrat Joseph M. Montoya.[9] Cargo tried for New Mexico's other Senate seat in 1972, this time losing in the primary to eventual winner Pete Domenici.[8]

From 1973 until 1985, Cargo relocated to Lake Oswego, Oregon, with his wife Ida Jo and five children, Veronica, David, Patrick, Elena, and Eamon. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for State Treasurer in Oregon in 1984.[8]

After returning to New Mexico, Cargo won the Republican nomination for Congress, but was defeated by the incumbent, Democrat Bill Richardson in 1986.[8] Cargo ran for Mayor of Albuquerque in 1993, but was defeated by Martin Chávez.[8] He tried for a gubernatorial comeback in 1994. Cargo ran a poor fourth (13 percent) in the primary and lost to Gary Johnson.[10] Johnson won the general election. He ran his final race in 1997 running again for Mayor of Albuquerque but came in third place in the October election losing to Jim Baca.[11]

Cargo continued to practice law in Albuquerque.[1] In 2010 he wrote an autobiography titled Lonesome Dave.[12]

Cargo died on the morning of July 5, 2013 from complications of a stroke he had suffered two years earlier. He was 84.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Cargo, David F.". New Mexico Office of the State Historian. Retrieved December 28, 2010. 
  2. ^ Kallenbach, J.E.; Kallenbach, J.S. (1977). American State Governors, 1776-1976. 3. Oceana Publications. Retrieved September 13, 2015. 
  3. ^ Associated Press (May 4, 1966). "Governor Race Sparks Contest in New Mexico". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved July 6, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Scammon, Richard M. (1967). America Votes. 7. 
  5. ^ a b Scammon, Richard M. (1969). America Votes. 8. 
  6. ^ a b c "Former NM Governor Dave Cargo Dies, KRQE.com". Archived from the original on 2013-07-07. Retrieved September 14, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Constitution Of The State Of New Mexico - Article V, Section 1" (PDF). New Mexico Secretary Of State. Retrieved August 20, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Terrell, Steve (July 5, 2013). "Former New Mexico Gov. David Cargo dead at 84". The Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved July 6, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Scammon, Richard M. (1971). America Votes. 9. 
  10. ^ "Canvass of Returns of Primary Election Held on June 7, 1994 - State of New Mexico" (PDF). New Mexico Secretary of State. Retrieved July 6, 2013. 
  11. ^ "City of Albuquerque Regular Municipal Unofficial Election Results October 7, 1997". Bernalillo County Clerk's Office. October 7, 1997. Retrieved July 6, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Books: Lonesome Dave". Sunstone Press. Retrieved December 28, 2010. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Merle Tucker
Republican nominee for Governor of New Mexico
1966, 1968
Succeeded by
Pete Domenici
Political offices
Preceded by
Jack Campbell
Governor of New Mexico
Succeeded by
Bruce King