Bruce King

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Bruce King with artist Margaret Lefranc (left)

Bruce King (born April 6, 1924 in Stanley , Santa Fe County , New Mexico , † November 13, 2009 ) was an American politician . King was governor of the state of New Mexico several times (1971 to 1975; 1979 to 1983; 1991 to 1995) .


King served in the US Army during World War II . After the war he studied at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque . His political career began in 1954 with the election to the Board of County Commissioners of Santa Fe County. In his second term, he was chairman of this highest political body at the district level. In 1959, King was elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives. He was a member of the Chamber for five terms, in three of which he was its speaker . From 1968 to 1969 he was chairman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. In 1969 he was also President of the Constitutional Convention for that state.

He finally managed to be elected governor of New Mexico in 1970, defeating Republican Pete Domenici . Since the then constitution of the state did not allow direct re-election, King's first term ended in 1975. In 1979 he was re-elected for four years, and in 1991 for the third time. After a constitutional amendment, he would have been able to be re-elected, but he was defeated by Republican Gary E. Johnson .

Criticism has been leveled of King's behavior in connection with a revolt in New Mexico State Prison in February 1980. The author Roger Morris accused him in a book publication of complicity in the deaths of 33 inmates; The main reason for the extreme outbreak of violence was that corruption and brutality were tolerated during King's reign.

Bruce King has two children with his wife Alice King. His son Gary was Attorney General of New Mexico from 2007 to 2015 and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2014.

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