About Diane Denish
A lifelong New Mexican, Diane D. Denish was born and raised in Hobbs, a small town in the southeastern corner of the state. Her parents were active in public service and they taught Diane the values of family, faith and giving back to the community.
Diane earned her degree at the University of New Mexico, started a family and ran a successful small business in Albuquerque for twelve years. Diane learned firsthand what it means to make payroll, balance a budget and succeed during tough economic times.
After serving as the Chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, Diane was elected the state’s first female Lieutenant Governor in 2002.
During her time in office, she has consistently taken on the special interests on behalf of New Mexico families. When the Regional Housing Authorities were entangled in unethical and illegal activities, Diane led the fight to reform them. When New Mexico families were being taken advantage of by predatory mortgage loans, Diane successfully pushed for legislation to outlaw predatory home-loans. Diane also fought for strict new laws to take on pay-day lenders who exploit New Mexico’s most vulnerable people.
As a former small business owner, Diane understands that small businesses are the engine of our state’s economy and she’s familiar with the challenges they face. That’s why as Lt. Governor she led the fight to help small businesses grow and create new jobs. She helped create an innovative micro-lending program through the New Mexico Small Business Investment Corporation which has helped more than 1,800 small businesses get access to capital. Diane also fought for the adoption of higher minimum wage standards and more efficiently managed unemployment benefits.
Known as a champion for New Mexico’s children, Diane led the effort to expand pre-Kindergarten programs across the state and focus state agencies on preparing our future workforce. She signed the bills creating the Children's Cabinet and the Next Generation Fund to support positive youth development and after-school activities. She has cracked down on criminals who endanger children and successfully lobbied for Katie's Law, requiring DNA samples from anyone arrested for a violent felony.
Diane is married to Herb Denish and has three children and three grandchildren. Diane and her husband live in Albuquerque.