Jacob Candelaria

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Jacob Candelaria
Member of the New Mexico Senate
from the 26th district
Assumed office
Personal details
Jacob Rodney Candelaria

1986/1987 (age 34–35)[1]
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Kory Tillery
Alma materPrinceton University (A.B.) University of New Mexico School of Law (2016)

Jacob Rodney Candelaria (born 1986 or 1987)[1] is an American politician and attorney from Albuquerque, New Mexico, who represents the 26th District in the New Mexico Senate. First elected in 2012, he is a member of the Democratic Party.[2]

No Republican filed for the seat in the solidly Democratic district, and Candelaria ran unopposed in the November general election.[3]

Early life and career[edit]

Candelaria was born and raised in Albuquerque, brought up by a single mother, and he attended St. Pius X High School.[4] He then graduated with an A.B. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 2009 after completing a 102-page long senior thesis, titled "Contemporary Venezuelan Oil Policy: An Institutional Analysis", under the supervision of Stanley Katz.[5][6][7]

On graduating from Princeton, he returned to Albuquerque, working for Think New Mexico, the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee and Ben Lujan, the Speaker of the New Mexico House of Representatives.[8] In August 2011, he was appointed President and CEO of Equality New Mexico, the state's largest gay rights organization.[9]

Political career[edit]

On March 5, 2012, Candelaria announced his candidacy for the New Mexico Senate, seeking the Democratic nomination in the 26th district.[10] He was initially one of four Democrats to have filed for the seat, including incumbent Sen. Bernadette Sanchez. However, Sanchez abandoned her re-election bid on March 23, citing a desire to concentrate on her health.[11] Three days later, Steve D. Gallegos, a former Albuquerque City Councilman and Bernalillo County Commissioner, dropped his bid for the seat and endorsed Candelaria.[12]

The Democratic primary election held on June 5, 2012 was therefore a two-way fight between Candelaria and opponent Carlos Jose Villanueva. Candelaria took 69% of the vote, winning 1,835 votes to Villanueva's 828.[13]

On October 24, 2020, Candelaria denounced an anti-lockdown protest held at the New Mexico Capitol Building in a television appearance.[14] Following this, he received a number of anonymous threats via phone calls, with one including homophobic slurs and another saying that “we’re going to get you out one way or another", according to Candelaria.[14] In response to these threats, Candelaria fled his Albuquerque apartment and sought police protection.[14]


Candelaria is openly gay. He is the first gay man to serve in the New Mexico Legislature and only the second LGBT person, after state Senator Liz Stefanics.[3]

Candelaria's campaign won the support of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "40 Under Forty: Under 30 honorees - Jacob R. Candelaria". Albuquerque Business Journal. June 12, 2015. Age: 28
  2. ^ "Progressive Dems Suffer Setback". Albuquerque Journal. June 7, 2012. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  3. ^ a b ""At the end of the day, it didn't make much of a difference to folks" — first openly gay man heading to the Roundhouse". Capitol Report New Mexico. June 20, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2021.
  4. ^ "ABQjournal: St. Pius Grad Beats the Odds and Is Readying for His Freshman Year at Princeton". www.abqjournal.com. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  5. ^ "Editorial: Recommendations For New Mexico Senate". Albuquerque Journal. May 16, 2012. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  6. ^ "Running the Race". Princeton Alumni Weekly. October 23, 2013.
  7. ^ Candelaria, Jacob Rodney (2009). Contemporary Venezuelan Oil Policy: An Institutional Analysis (Thesis).
  8. ^ "About | Candelaria for State Senate". jacobcandelaria.com. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  9. ^ "EQNM Welcomes Jacob Candelaria as New President-CEO" (Press release). Democracy for New Mexico. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  10. ^ "Jacob Candelaria to Launch State Senate Run in Albuquerque". Democrats of Chaves County. March 7, 2012. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  11. ^ "Another lawmaker drops out; more could be kicked off ballot". NMPolitics.net. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  12. ^ "Two-way race for Senate District 26". New Mexico Telegram. March 26, 2012. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  13. ^ "2012 primary results". Secretary of State of New Mexico. July 9, 2012. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  14. ^ a b c "New Mexico legislator flees home after receiving threats". AP NEWS. October 26, 2020. Retrieved October 27, 2020.
  15. ^ "Gay man to become New Mexico's only out LGBT state legislator". Gaypolitics.com. June 5, 2012. Archived from the original on June 9, 2012. Retrieved August 20, 2012.

External links[edit]