Teresa Leger Fernandez
An experienced and passionate leader
Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez is an experienced and passionate leader who successfully ran for Congress in 2020 to expand opportunity for all New Mexico working families, and went on to win reelection in 2022. A graduate of one of the first classes of Head Start in Las Vegas, New Mexico, she rose all the way to Yale and Stanford Law School. Rep. Leger Fernandez has deep roots in rural New Mexico, where her mother was a bilingual education pioneer and her father was a former state senator and educator. She returned home to serve the communities she loves and founded a social impact law firm. She has represented tribes, minority-owned businesses, and community organizations on issues including civil rights, affordable housing, and community development. Rep. Leger Fernandez has served as counsel to several Native American tribes and their business enterprises, promoting economic development as well as defending sovereignty, voting rights, and sacred sites. She has served on the board of a local housing nonprofit for 20 years, helping thousands of families buy an affordable home or improve or solarize their homes. She has also served as vice chair of MALDEF, the nation’s preeminent Latino civil rights legal organization defending voting rights, education, and immigrant rights. Rep. Leger Fernandez is a powerful advocate for Latino cultural expression and acted in and served as president of a bilingual theater company. She is the proud mother of three children and enjoys family hikes through New Mexico’s mountains and wilderness.
A champion for New Mexico working families and the environment
Rep. Leger Fernandez served as a White House Fellow in President Bill Clinton’s administration and worked on affordable housing and community development initiatives as a White House liaison at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 2015, President Obama appointed her to serve as vice chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and she has worked to revisit policies and programs to better reflect our country’s racial, ethnic, and geographic diversity. In Congress, she has fought tirelessly to expand access to clean water and broadband across her district, secured major investments to plug orphaned wells in order to create jobs and protect New Mexico’s environment, and championed voting rights. Rep. Leger Fernandez is a cancer survivor who understands the importance of coverage for preexisting conditions for all New Mexicans. She has championed policies that expand access to quality health care and will fight any attempts to rollback protections in the Affordable Care Act. She currently serves on the House Committee on Natural Resources, where she chairs the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States, and the House Committee on Education and Labor, and is a member of the following caucuses: Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, the Congressional Native American Caucus, and the Congressional Democratic Women’s Caucus.
Victory in a critical seat
In 2020, Rep. Leger Fernandez ran for the open seat in New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District and won — and won reelection in 2022. This district had never before been represented by a woman, and Rep. Leger Fernandez has given rural New Mexico’s women of color and working families a new voice in Congress. EMILY’s List is proud to support her every step of the way as she continues bringing her powerful leadership and vision to the House.