New Mexico First Blog

New Mexico First Announces Spirit of Bipartisanship Award Recipients

Awardees to be recognized at June “First Forum”

New Mexico First will recognize five outstanding leaders for their exceptional commitments to collaboration and effective policy. The Spirit of Bipartisanship Awards will be presented at the First Forum Lecture Series on June 7 in Albuquerque.

“This organization is proud to recognize lawmakers and community leaders who put the people of New Mexico first and work to find good solutions to the challenges we face,” said Ricardo Gonzales, selection committee chair.“This award shines the spotlight on hard-working role models who put good policy above partisan politics.”


Team Builders

Representative James E. Smith, New Mexico Legislature (R)

Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto, New Mexico Legislature (D)

Excellence in Education

Representative Stephanie Garcia Richard, New Mexico Legislature (D)

Up and Comer

Representative Jim Dines, New Mexico Legislature (R)

Lifetime Achievement Award

Sherman McCorkle, retired executive and longstanding civic leader

The awardees were chosen by a bipartisan committee including Ricardo Gonzales, Heather Balas, Jason Espinoza, Clint Harden, Hayley Klein, Johnny Montoya, Cynthia Nava, Jennifer Riordan, George Rivera and Peter Winograd.

In addition to the awards, New Mexico First will host 2017 First Forum: Crisis Point: Advancing Healthy Politics in New Mexico! The organization’s biennial First Forum this year features retired U.S. Senators Tom Daschle and Trent Lott. Two of the most prominent senators of recent time, these men have devoted almost 60 years of public service between them. Lott and Daschle will come together from opposite sides of the aisle to itemize damaging forces – such as the permanent campaign, unprecedented money, or the 24/7 news cycle – and offer practical recommendations that point a way forward. Most crucially, they will remind New Mexicans of the principles enshrined in the Constitution, the necessity of debate, and the imperative of compromise.

The First Forum lecturers are a tradition in the state, enabling New Mexicans to hear experts speak about timely public policy topics. This year’s event will be held at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, June 7, at 5:30 pm. Tickets may be purchased at


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