|New Mexico State Senator
from the 52nd district
January 19, 1961 Ë|
Las Cruces, New Mexico, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of New Mexico,
California Polytechnic State
Joseph Cervantes is an attorney in private practice in Las Cruces, N.M., and currently a member of the New Mexico Senate, representing the 31st District since 2012.
Early life and education
Joseph Cervantes was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and raised farming near La Mesa in southern Dona Ana County. Cervantes graduated from Las Cruces High School in 1979, and the University of New Mexico with a B.A. degree in architecture in 1983. In 1985 Cervantes received a Master in Architecture degree from California Polytechnic State University. He was licensed as an architect by the State of California in 1987 and became an associate member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
In 1991 Cervantes received a J.D. degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law where he was a member of the UNM Law Review, and National Moot Court and Mock Trial teams.
Professional and business careers
Cervantes practiced architecture in La Jolla, California with Dale Naegle & Associates before returning to New Mexico in 1987 for the construction of elementary school projects for the Gadsden Independent School District. After graduating from law school in 1991 Cervantes worked for the Albuquerque law firm Modrall Sperling Roehl Harris & Sisk, until founding the Cervantes Law Firm in 1995. Cervantes is a member of the New Mexico State Bar, the ABA Litigation Section, and a former member of the Inn of Courts. Cervantes is a Commissioner for New Mexico on the Uniform Law Commission (ULC).
In addition to practicing law Cervantes has business interests in commercial real estate and development, and in farming and agricultural food processing, in southern New Mexico.
Cervantes is a recipient of the Dixon First Amendment Freedom Award from the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, and served on the Board of Directors for New Mexico First, and Leadership New Mexico. He is a parishioner of St. Albert the Great Newman Center in Las Cruces.
Cervantes was elected as National Delegate to the Democrat National Conventions in 1988 and 2000, and as Democrat state party Treasurer.
Cervantes was first elected to public office in 1998 defeating Republican incumbent Dona Ana County Commissioner Dora Harp. In 2001 Cervantes was appointed to the New Mexico House of Representatives, and was reelected in five successive campaigns through 2012. In the New Mexico House of Representatives Cervantes was appointed as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Vice-Chairman of the House Rules Committee, and Chairman of the interim Water & Natural Resources Committee. In 2011 Cervantes was appointed as Co-Chairman of the House Rules Subcommittee for impeachment of Public Regulation Commissioner Jerome Block.
In 2012 Cervantes announced he would seek the New Mexico Senate seat vacated by the retirement of Sen. Cynthia Nava. In the June 2012 Democrat primary election Cervantes defeated former Sunland Park Mayor Jesus Ruben Segura. Cervantes went on to win with 68.26% of the general election vote.
Cervantes and his wife author Jennifer Cervantes are parents of three daughters, Alex, Bella, and Jules and reside in Dona Ana County.
- Representative Joseph Cervantes at the NM House website
- Project Vote Smart - Representative Joseph Cervantes (NM) profile
- Follow the Money - Joseph Cervantes