Deb Haaland

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Deb Haaland
Debra Haaland, 2014 (cropped).jpg
Member-elect of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Mexico's 1st district
Assuming office
January 3, 2019
SucceedingMichelle Lujan Grisham
Chair of the New Mexico Democratic Party
In office
April 25, 2015 – April 29, 2017
Preceded bySam Bregman
Succeeded byRichard Ellenberg
Personal details
Born (1960-12-02) December 2, 1960 (age 57)
Winslow, Arizona, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationUniversity of New Mexico, Albuquerque (BA, JD)
WebsiteCampaign website

Debra A. Haaland (December 2, 1960)[1][2] is an American politician from New Mexico, elected to Congress on November 6, 2018. She is a former Chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico.[3]

In November 2018, she ran as the 2018 Democratic nominee for the United States House of Representatives to represent New Mexico's 1st congressional district, and won against Republican Janice Arnold Jones. She is one of the first two Native American women to be elected to Congress alongside Sharice Davids, both in 2018.

Early life and education[edit]

Haaland was born in Winslow, Arizona.[4] She is an enrolled member of the Laguna Pueblo people. Her father, J. D. "Dutch" Haaland, a Norwegian American, was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and recipient of the Silver Star for his actions in Vietnam; he was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in 2005.[5] Her mother, Mary Toya,[5] a Native American, served in the United States Navy.[6] She has three sisters and a brother.[5]

Haaland earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of New Mexico in 1994.[7][8] She earned her Juris Doctor in Indian law from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 2006.[7][8][9] She served as the tribal administrator for the San Felipe Pueblo from January 2013 to November 2015.[6][7][8]

Political career[edit]

Haaland speaks at "Stop Kavanaugh Rally" at the U.S. Capitol in 2018

In 2012, Haaland served as the state's vote director for Native Americans in Barack Obama's 2012 presidential reelection campaign.[10] She ran for Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico in 2014.[6] Her ticket, headed by Gary King, the party's nominee for Governor of New Mexico, lost to the Republican ticket of Susana Martinez and John Sanchez.[10]

She was elected to a two-year term as the Chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico in April 2015.[11][12] During her tenure, New Mexico Democrats regained control of the New Mexico House of Representatives.[10]

After the expiration of her term, she announced her intention to run for the United States House of Representatives in New Mexico's 1st congressional district in the 2018 elections, to succeed Michelle Lujan Grisham, who was running for Governor.[10] Haaland defeated Damon Martinez to win the Democratic Party nomination in June 2018.[13]

After she defeated Republican Janice Arnold Jones on November 6, 2018, Haaland became one of the first two Native American women to be elected to the United States Congress, alongside Sharice Davids.[14][15][16][17]

Personal life[edit]

Haaland has a daughter, Somáh,[18] whom she raised on her own.[10] Haaland's hobbies include marathon running and gourmet cooking.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Candidate Conversation - Deb Haaland (D)
  2. ^ Peters, Joey (April 26, 2015). "Haaland elected new state Democratic Party Chair". Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  3. ^ The U.S. Is Getting Its First Native American Congresswoman as Deb Haaland won and will assume office in January 2019, Fortune, McKenna Moore, 7 June 2018. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  4. ^ Contreras, Russell. "Deb Haaland's House Run Could Make Native American History". Time. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "Obituaries: Haaland". Albuquerque Journal. March 4, 2005. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "Debra Haaland Could Make History as Lt. Gov. of NM –". November 28, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d "Deb Haaland's Biography". Vote Smart. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c "Debra Haaland". LinkedIn. 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  9. ^ Oxford, Andrew (May 2, 2017). "Haaland, former Dem Party state chairwoman, running for Congress". The Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Former state Democratic Party chairwoman Haaland plans run for Congress". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  11. ^ Terrell, Steve (April 25, 2015). "State Democrats elect first American Indian to lead party". The Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  12. ^ "Democrats elect Haaland state party chairwoman". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  13. ^ "Past Democratic Party chair Haaland wins nomination". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  14. ^ Haslett, Cheyenne (June 6, 2018). "Candidate hopes to be first Native American congresswoman". ABC News. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  15. ^ Holland, Joshua (June 1, 2018). "Meet Deb Haaland, Democrat for Congress". The Nation. ISSN 0027-8378. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  16. ^ Krieg, Gregory (September 1, 2015). "New Mexico's Deb Haaland likely to be first Native American in Congress". CNN. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  17. ^ Romero, Simon (June 6, 2018). "New Mexico Could Elect First Native American Woman to Congress". The New York Times. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  18. ^ "NM Democratic Chair Haaland Statement On Marriage Equality". KRWG. June 26, 2015. Retrieved June 8, 2018.

External links[edit]