Martin Joseph Chávez (born March 2, 1952) Chávez is a former three-term mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico and New Mexico State Senator. He currently serves as the Executive Director of ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability USA. and Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Center for Green Schools at U.S. Green Building Council. He is currently seeking the Democratic nomination for the Congressional seat being vacated by Martin Heinrich, who is retiring from the house to run for Senate.
Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico of Hispanic heritage, Chávez attended both parochial (St. Charles Borromeo and Holy Ghost) and public (Van Buren Junior High and Manzano High) schools. After graduating from Manzano High School, Chávez earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of New Mexico and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center. He was the founding director of the New Mexico Workers' Compensation Administration in 1986. From 1987 to 1993 he served in the New Mexico State Senate where he helped pass the New Mexico Workers Compensation Act and the Voter Registration Reform Act.
In 1997, Chávez decided not to run for re-election as Mayor and instead ran for Governor of New Mexico in 1998. He won the Democratic primary and faced incumbent Republican Governor Gary Johnson in the general election, which Chávez lost 45 percent to 55 percent.