Senator Pete V. Domenici was born on May 7, 1932, the only boy in a family of five children. His parents had emigrated from Italy and settled in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As a young boy, the Senator helped out his father by delivering groceries for the family business. At age ten, he began his baseball career as a pitcher. He played at St. Mary's High School, and then pitched for the College of St. Joseph on the Rio Grande until transferring to the University of New Mexico. After graduation, he pitched for the Dukes before becoming a math and science teacher at Garfield Junior High.

After a year of teaching, Domenici went to law school at the University of Denver. He received his law degree in 1958, then went into private practice in Albuquerque. That same year he married Nancy Burk, a physical therapist. They have eight children, Lisa, Peter, Nella, Claire, David, Nanette, and the twins Paula and Helen.

One day while having coffee with friends, Domenici was challenged to fix some of the problems he was always complaining about on the Albuquerque City Commission. He took up that challenge and in 1966, began his political career with the Commission.

In 1972 he was elected to represent the state of New Mexico in the United States Senate. There Senator Domenici was known as a man who reached across the aisle, working with the Democrats to get legislation passed to the benefit of his constituents and many others in the country. For instance, during his six terms in office, the Domenici-Wellstone Law was passed (1996), followed by the Mental Health Parity Act. His 36-year career is the longest of any Senator from New Mexico and one of the longest in the history of the Senate. At the time of his retirement, he was the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. He was also a member of the U.S. Senate Committees on Appropriations, Budget, and Indian Affairs.

In 2008, Senator Domenici retired from the Senate because of health problems. In 2010 he began work at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C., where he was active until health issues brought him home to New Mexico in 2017. He passed away on September 13, 2017, in Albuquerque.


1932 1954 1958 1966 1967 1972 2002 2008 2017

» Born May 7 in Albuquerque

only son of five children of Italian immigrants

» Earned an education degree from University of New Mexico

» Pitcher for Albuquerque Dukes
a farm club for the old Brooklyn Dodgers

» Earned law degree, University of Denver

» Entered private practice in Albuquerque

» Married Nancy Burk

» Elected to Albuquerque City Commission

» Elected Commission Chairman

equivalent to Mayor

» Elected to U.S. Senate

first Republican U.S. Senator from New Mexico in 38 years

» Re-elected for a sixth term in the U.S. Senate

» Retired from Senate

» Passed away on September 13 in Albuquerque


Committee Assignments

  • Committee on Appropriations
    • Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Defense
    • Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development (Ranking Member)
    • Subcommittee on Homeland Security
    • Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
    • Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (Ranking Member)
    • Subcommittee on Energy (Ex Officio)
    • Subcommittee on National Parks (Ex Officio)
    • Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests (Ex Officio)
    • Subcommittee on Water and Power (Ex Officio)
  • Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
    • Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery
    • Ad Hoc Subcommittee on State, Local, and Private Sector Preparedness and Integration
    • Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
    • Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security
  • Committee on the Budget
  • Committee on Indian Affairs