Saturday, April 9, 2011

R.I.P. Rep. Jeannette Wallace

State Rep. Jeannete Wallace, R-Los Alamos, who has been in the state House of Representatives for 20 years, has died.

Wallace, who won her 11th term in the House last year at the age of 76, has had health problems in recent months. She was seen around the Capitol using a portable oxygen tank. At this point, I don't know the cause of death.

Wallace was known as a moderate Republican who had a close working relationship with House Speaker Ben Lujan, who represents a neighboring district.

She was a a member of the House Appropriations and Finance Committee, as well as the interim Legislative Finance Committee.

She previously served on the Los Alamos County Council.

She faced a serious challenge from Democrat Stephanie Richard in her last election -- her first serious challenge in more than a decade. But she ended up winning by 190 votes.

Gov. Susana Martinez released a statement about Wallace's death:

"Jeannette dedicated two decades of her life to serving New Mexico in the state legislature. She was a tireless advocate for the people of Los Alamos, Sandoval, and Santa Fe Counties - committed to public service even as her health was fading over the past few months. Chuck and I offer our deepest condolences to Jeannette's family and friends, and we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time," said Governor Martinez. "Representative Wallace's passing is a loss for all of us who have had the pleasure to work with her. She will be deeply missed."

Heather Wilson, a former Congresswoman and currently a candidate for U.S. Senate also praised Wallace:

"Jeanette Wallace was a dear friend and a wonderful public servant. She was an example to others of how citizens can serve the community with unfailing decency, selflessness and integrity. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and many friends. We will all miss her warmth and wisdom very much."