Heather Wilson

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This is a profile of a former U.S. Representative. (See the New Mexico portal for all incumbents, candidates and blogs.)
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Heather Wilson currently serves the 1st Congressional district of New Mexico

Heather A. Wilson, a Republican, has represented the First Congressional District of New Mexico in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1998 (map). She lost her primary bid for the Senate seat.

Record and controversies

General information about important bills and votes for can be found in Congresspedia's articles on legislation. You can add information you find on how Heather Wilson voted by clicking the "[edit]" link to the right and typing it in. Remember to cite your sources!

Iraq War

Wilson voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Links to Delay and Abramoff

Contributors to Wilson include former House majority leader Tom DeLay's political action committee ARMPAC, convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff (along with 200 other members of Congress), and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Wilson was the fourth largest recipient of former House Majority Leader DeLay's ARMPAC campaign contributions. DeLay is being prosecuted on charges of felony money laundering of campaign finances and conspiracy to launder money. To date, Wilson has returned less than a quarter of the $46,959 she received from ARMPAC.[2][1]

Involvement in U.S. attorney scandal

In March 2007, Rep. Wilson (R-N.M.) confirmed that she had contacted former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias in regard to a federal investigation. She maintains that she did so after her constituents contacted her saying that, "David Iglesias was intentionally delaying corruption investigations." [2]

The House Judiciary Committee has launched hearings into the incident which were scheduled for March 6 2007.

Main article: Bush administration U.S. attorney firings controversy

Domestic spying

On February 7, 2006 Heather Wilson broke ranks with President Bush and Congressional Republicans when she called for a full congressional inquiry into the NSA warrantless surveillance. Eric Lichtblau of The New York Times suggested that "the congresswoman's discomfort with the operation appears to reflect deepening fissures among Republicans over the program's legal basis and political liabilities" [3]

Wilson's appeal for more oversight came nearly two months after existence of the citizen spying program first became publicly known. Marie Horrigan of CQPolitics suggested Wilson's late outcry may have resulted from pressure mounted by Demoractic opponent Patricia Madrid, who was "giving the incumbent a serious challenge," and due to flagging support for President Bush in New Mexico. [4] In the days before Wilson spoke up, Madrid's campaign released both a fund-raising report showing Madrid had out raised Wilson in the previous financial quarter and a poll putting the two candidates in a statistical tie.[5]



Born in Keene, New Hampshire on December 30, 1960, Wilson joined the Air Force at the age of seventeen, graduating from the Air Force Academy in 1982. A Rhodes Scholar, she continued her education at Oxford University, earning a Ph.D. in International Relations.

Upon leaving the Air Force in 1989, Wilson became Director for European Defense Policy and Arms Control on the National Security Council. She founded Keystone International, Inc. in 1991 to promote business development in the United States and Russia. She is the former Secretary of the New Mexico Children, Youth and Family Department.

While she was Secretary of the New Mexico Children, Youth and Family Department, she was caught lying on camera to Larry Barker, reporter for an Albuquerque TV station. In 1995, she ordered a file regarding her husband, a foster parent, moved from a department warehouse to her office. When Mr. Barker asked Wilson if she had removed the file, she denied it.[3]

Wilson later admitted to removing the file, but denied reading it, and said she had been "suspicious for some time, based on rumors, that someone had attempted to steal information from the department regarding" her family.[4]

Congressional Career

Wilson was elected to the House of Representatives in 1998 in a special election to replace the late Steven Schiff. She was the first woman to represent New Mexico since Georgia Lusk in the 1940s.

In 2004, Wilson generated some controversy when she denounced CBS and Viacom following Janet Jackson's halftime performance at Super Bowl XXXVIII in which Jackson revealed her nipple. ("You knew what you were doing...creates a buzz.") Her specific words, "It was nasty", have become a well known soundbite.

During Wilson's re-election campaign in 2004, her political opponent Richard Romero ran advertisements which suggested her votes in Congress aided Osama bin Laden because she had voted against a bill to require the screening of cargo holds. Wilson's campaign countered with an ad stating "Richard Romero opposes death penalty for child molesters who kill their victims". Wilson won the election by a 10% margin over Romero, the same margin of victory she had against Romero in the 2002 election.

In her first national campaign, the Republican National Committee provided a great deal of Wilson's campaign funds because local Republicans were unsure about an untested candidate who had so recently moved to New Mexico from out-of-state. Wilson countered: "I'm a mail-order bride. I've now lived in New Mexico longer than I've lived anywhere else."

2006 elections

In 2006, the Democrats nominated Patricia Madrid to face Wilson in her November 2006 bid for reelection. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [6] The election was very close, as Wilson held a lead of slightly less than 1,500 votes following an initial count. The count, however, did not include 2,698 provisional ballots. [7]

Wilson to seek Domenici seat

According to a source familiar with the decision, Wilson would reportedly run for the New Mexico Senate seat that opened up when Sen. Pete Domenici announced his resignation. Domenici cited health concerns at a press conference on October 4, 2007. “I am not willing to take a chance that the people who have so honored me with their trust for 40 years might not be served as well as they deserve in the United States Senate,” he said. Wilson had reportedly been taken under Domenici’s wing and her name had topped a list of potential heirs. As a strong campaigner she survived several multimillion-dollar challenges in the swing state including a win by under 1,000 votes in the 2006 election, however she also faced the U.S. Attorney scandal that may have affected a Domenici run. [5]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00006546&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>

Links to more campaign contribution information for Heather Wilson
from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

Coalitions and Caucuses

  • Air Force Caucus
  • Congressional Internet Caucus
  • Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Children's Congress Congressional Committee
  • Republican Policy Committee
  • Reserve Components Coalition
  • Rural Health Care Coalition
  • Western Caucus
  • Wireless Telecommunications Caucus

Boards and other Affiliations

  • Association of Commerce and Industry, 1992-1995
  • Chamber of Commerce, 1992-1995
  • First United Methodist Church
  • Member, Kiwanis Club of Albuquerque
  • Board of Directors, Quality New Mexico

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on Heather Wilson. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC Office:
318 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-3101
Phone: 202-225-6316
Fax: 202-225-4975
Web Email

District Office - Albuquerque:
20 First Plaza North West, Suite 603
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Phone: 505-346-6781
Fax: 505-346-6723

Official Wilson for Senate website

Wilson for Senate Phone: 505-323-9017

Articles and resources


  1. Roll call vote, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
  2. Jason Trenkle, "DeLay's PAC gave money to NM reps; Wilson returned it" New Mexico Business Weekly, September 30, 2005.
  3. John J. Lumpkin, "Former DA Says Wilson Broke No Law Over File" The Albuquerque Journal, June 17, 1998.
  4. Peter Eichstaedt, "DA Plans Check on Wilson Records" The Albuquerque Journal, August 9, 1996.
  5. Jackie Kucinich and Aaron Blake,“Wilson to seek Senate seat,” The Hill, October 5, 2007.


Related SourceWatch articles

Local blogs and discussion sites


Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: None
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Air Force Caucus, Congressional Internet Caucus, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Children's Congress Congressional Committee, Republican Policy Committee, Reserve Components Coalition, Rural Health Care Coalition, Western Caucus, Wireless Telecommunications Caucus
Committees: House Committee on Energy and Commerce, House Committee on Energy and Commerce/Subcommittee on Environment and Hazardous Materials, House Committee on Energy and Commerce/Subcommittee on Health, House Committee on Energy and Commerce/Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence/Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence/Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence,
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
June 23, 1998
First Took Current Office:
June 23, 1998
Next Election:
Term Ends:
January 3, 2009
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
None or Not Available,
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
Phone: / Fax:

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: December 30, 1960