Senator Peter Wirth and Family

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About Peter Wirth

Senator Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe - 25) is a third term state Senator and the newly elected Senate Majority Leader. He spent four years as a Representative in the State House from 2004 through 2008 replacing Max Coll who retired from the seat.

Peter’s New Mexico roots go back several generations on both sides of his family. His maternal grandfather, John Gaw Meem, was one of New Mexico’s preeminent architects and first came to New Mexico in 1920 to recover from Tuberculosis. His paternal grandfather was a math teacher and camp counselor at the Los Alamos Ranch School before World War II. Peter’s late father John Wirth, a historian, took great pride in the fact that he was born in Dawson, New Mexico, now a ghost town.

When he is not working at the Legislature, Peter is a lawyer in Santa Fe. He graduated from Stanford University in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Spanish and then went to law school at the University of New Mexico where he obtained a Juris Doctorate in 1990. Peter was a law clerk for the Honorable Oliver Seth, a Federal Judge with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. His current civil law practice emphasizes mediation and alternative dispute resolution.

During his twelve years in the legislature, four in the state House and eight in the state Senate, Peter carried a variety of legislation signed by Governor Bill Richardson and Governor Susana Martinez. Some of Peter’s successful legislation include laws banning texting while driving, creating and then expanding the sustainable building tax credit, allowing local governments to enact water conservation ordinances and limiting the use of domestic wells in subdivisions. This past session, he was the sponsor of a joint resolution reforming New Mexico’s bail system, which the voters passed in November with eight-seven percent support. A list of Peter's bills introduced each session can be found at the legislature's web site, www.nmlegis.gov.

Prior to his service in the legislature, Peter was actively involved in the Santa Fe community. He served on a number of boards including the St. Vincent Hospital Foundation from 1991 to 2000, the Santa Fe Children’s Museum from 2000 to 2004 where he was board chair for two years, the Historic Santa Fe Foundation from 1991 to 1995 where he returned to serve as board president from 1997 to 2003. Since 2000 Peter has been a member of Rotary International.

He is married to Carol Romero-Wirth, a lawyer with a Master’s Degree in public policy and they have two children.