ALBUQUERQUE—Last night, longtime State Representative Larry Larrañaga (R-Albuquerque) passed away in his Albuquerque home. Rep. Larrañaga had served his Northeastern Albuquerque district for nearly 24 years.
House Republican Leader Nate Gentry (R-Albuquerque) released the following statement on Rep. Larrañaga’s passing:
“Larry Larrañaga was the dean of the House Appropriations and Finance Committee. His quiet determination and steadfast approach served as an example for all of his colleagues in the Legislature. He loved New Mexico, and he dedicated his life trying to make it a better place to live. My deepest condolences are with his wife, Charletta, and his family.”
Rep. Larrañaga was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1994. During his two decades of service in the Legislature, he built a reputation as a pragmatic dealmaker and an expert on the state’s budget. He served on the powerful Legislative Finance Committee as well as the House Appropriations and Finance Committee, which he chaired in 2015 and 2016. His legislative accomplishments included the development of a 40-year water plan for New Mexico and the creation of a revenue stabilization fund, or “rainy day” fund, allowing the state to set aside revenues during oil and gas boom years to increase reserves and protect against budget shortfalls in lean years.
Before seeking elected office, Rep. Larrañaga held various positions in both state and local government as well as the private sector. After serving in the U.S. armed forces, he earned BS and MS degrees in civil engineering from the University of New Mexico. He worked as a District Engineer for the New Mexico Highway Department, eventually becoming Department Secretary from 1982 to 1988. He also served the City of Albuquerque as the Public Works Director and Deputy Chief Administrative Officer.
In 1989 he joined the Albuquerque engineering firm Bohannon-Huston. He eventually became an owner/partner of the firm. During his sixteen years with the company, he helped the firm expand its presence throughout the southwestern region. He retired from Bohannon-Huston in 2005.
Rep. Larrañaga had announced in August that he was ending his re-election campaign to his District 27 seat. He submitted his resignation from the Legislature to the Secretary of State earlier this month.