ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Pete Domenici, a former Republican senator from New Mexico has died. Domenici was 85.
Senator Domenici was born and raised in Albuquerque. He graduated from the University of New Mexico and started his career as a math teacher, but got his start in politics in 1966 on the Albuquerque City Commission.
He won a Senate seat in 1972 and then won five more — the longest serving U.S. Senator in New Mexico history.
In 2008, he declined to seek a seventh Senate term, saying he had been diagnosed with an incurable brain disorder.
During his tenure in the Senate, Domenici was involved with energy and natural resources, behavioral health, and budgetary matters.
The family is holding a Rosary at Our Lady of Fatima at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 15. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday also at Our Lady of Fatima.
A public memorial in honor of Senator Pete Domenici is being held at Isotopes Park, Saturday at 3 p.m. Doors will open at 2 p.m.
The family released the following statement:
Statement of Domenici Family on passing of former U.S. Senator Pete V. Domenici
“This is a difficult time for the entire Domenici family. We have suffered a great loss.
“Our father loved New Mexico and worked for its people. He devoted his life to fighting for them. He worked for everyone, in every corner in the state. And as much as he did he always felt there was even more he could do. If it involved a need in New Mexico, Pete Domenici was always ready to “get to work.”
“So, while we mourn our father’s passing, we celebrate his life and his many achievements and feel tremendous gratitude to his dedicated supporters, exceptional staff and the constituents of his beloved state.
“And we want all to know how deeply appreciative of the hundreds of messages of condolence and support we have receive today. We thank you.
“We are currently working on future arrangements and will announce them when finalized.”
Domenici was also the center of a scandal five years ago, when it was revealed he had a child outside his marriage in the late 70’s with the much younger daughter of a fellow Senator.
Now, his son is Nevada’s Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt. He issued the following statement Wednesday:
I am profoundly saddened by the passing of my father. He leaves behind a wonderful, talented, and loving family. He was a great man who I will dearly miss.