Colleagues reflect on former Senator Pete Domenici's legacy

Pete Domenici. Courtesy Photo

Pete Domenici spent 36 years as a senator in Washington, D.C. Those who knew him best said it was New Mexico, and its people, that were always on his mind.

NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers worked closely with Domenici when Carruthers was New Mexico’s governor.

“He was all about supporting the state. Our national laboratories, our Air Force and Army bases,” Carruthers said. “So he was known as St. Pete because St. Pete was going to take care of New Mexico institutions, including New Mexico State University.”

That’ll only be part of Domenici’s legacy, according to former Senator Richard Lugar.

“He knew a great deal about the subjects of the budget, about energy and certainly about western state problems,” Lugar said.

Lugar worked alongside Domenici for decades.

“He is a dear friend,” Lugar said. “We served 32 years together on the Senate floor, 36 years both of us altogether. We’ve done a lot.”

And a lot will forever be a part of New Mexico’s history.

“I’m thrilled to be here to testify once again about what a great man (he was) and how much our partnership meant,” Lugar said.

Domenici passed away from complications after abdominal surgery.

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