January 12, 2016

Who are NM members of Congress taking to the State of the Union?

Capitol Hill Building, Washington DC

Tonight marks the final State of the Union from President Barack Obama. In attendance will be members of Congress and their respective guests.

Capitol Hill Building, Washington DC

Capitol Hill Building, Washington DC

Most of the members of New Mexico’s delegation have announced who they invited. The guests range from from former and current staffers to a member of the Navajo Nation.

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján’s guest will be Alejandra Montoya-Boyer, a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Secondary Education Graduate Fellow. Montoya-Boyer was also a fellow in Lujan’s office last year.

In a statement, Luján praised Montoya-Boyer for her Science, Technology, Engineering and Math background. Luján is a Democrat.

“As a Hispanic woman with a strong tech background, Alejandra is a testament to what can happen when we inspire New Mexicans to follow their dreams and give back to their communities by studying STEM,” Luján said.

Luján is also a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce told NM Political Report that the Republican congressman will bring Mary Beth Bleekrode, one of his interns in Washington D.C. According to Pearce’s office, Bleekrode is a biology major at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. His office added that Bleekrode is interested in attending law school and in national security and counterterrorism.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich will be bringing Carielle Bahe, a University of New Mexico student, as his guest. Bahe grew up in Crownpoint, New Mexico and is a member of the Navajo Nation.

In a statement Heinrich said he was honored to bring Bahe and share the experience with her.

“Carielle’s commitment to her education, giving back to her community, and working with youth is inspiring, and represents the kind of bright future we can have in New Mexico if we invest in our students,” Heinrich said.

Bahe is also a former intern for Heinrich.

U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham will bring Maggie Byers, an advocate against gun violence. Byers is a New Mexico volunteer chapter leader for Moms Demand Action of Gun Sense in America.

In recent months the Democratic congresswoman has made curbing gun violence an increasingly large part of her platform.

“Maggie is playing an important role in New Mexico as she works and organizes on a grassroots level with like-minded mothers who want common-sense gun laws that prevent gun violence,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement. “She has the same mindset that many parents have; while she hasn’t been personally affected by the tragedy of gun violence, she has young children and she was profoundly impacted by the Sandy Hook massacre.”

Sen. Tom Udall will be bringing his wife, Jill Cooper Udall, a spokesman for Udall’s office told NM Political Report on Monday morning. She is a private member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities as well as a consultant for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.