Rep. Harry Teague (D)
Elected: 2008, 1st term.
Born: June 29, 1949, Gracemont, OK .
Education: Attended Hobbs H.S..
Family: Married (Nancy); 2 children.
Elected office: Lea Cnty. Bd. of Commissioners, 1998-2006, chmn. 2003-06.
Professional Career: Pres., Teaco Energy Services
The new congressman from the 2nd District is Democrat Harry Teague. Teague defeated Republican nominee Edward Tinsley to become the first Democrat to represent the district since 1980. Republican Rep. Steve Pearce had given up the seat to run for the Senate.
|Harry Teague (D)||129,572||(56%)||($3,408,821)|
|Edward Tinsley (R)||101,980||(44%)||($2,389,508)|
|Harry Teague (D)||20,281||(52%)|
|Bill McCamley (D)||18,597||(48%)|
Teague was born in Gracemont, Okla., and moved to eastern New Mexico at 9 years old. When he was a senior at Hobbs High School, his father became ill, and Teague dropped out of school to work in the oil fields along the New Mexico-Texas border. His starting rate was $1.50 an hour, which he used to help support the family. Today, Teague is president of his own company, the Hobbs-based Teaco Energy Services, Inc., which services oil wells in New Mexico and Texas and employs more than 250 workers. Teague served for eight years on the Lea County Board of Commissioners. Though the commission was controlled by Republicans, he was voted chairman for more than three years. As a commissioner, Teague pushed for bringing the National Enrichment Facility, which processes fuel for nuclear power plants, to Lea County.
In the contest for the House seat, Teague and Tinsley, owner of the K-Bob’s Steakhouse chain and a rancher, both supported more domestic drilling as well as the development of alternative energy. Teague tried to link Tinsley to Republican President Bush as much as possible, emphasizing his opponent’s support for making the Bush tax cuts permanent, and he criticized Tinsley for opposing an increase in the federal minimum wage. During debates, Teague slammed Tinsley for once being tardy in paying his payroll taxes, noting that Tinsley had had to pay the Internal Revenue Service $65,000 for late filings and late payments. Tinsley brought up a sexual-harassment suit against a vice president of Teague’s company.
Teague got the endorsement of Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson, an early contender for the presidential nomination in 2008. He also had solid union support, winning endorsements from the American Federation of Teachers and the United Steelworkers of America. Tinsley was endorsed by the Las Cruces Sun-News, the dominant newspaper in the district. He also got the backing of retiring Republican Sen. Pete Domenici, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and former Las Cruces Mayor Bill Mattiace. Teague raised $3.4 million, half of it his own money, while Tinsley raised $2.4 million. Teague won, 56%-44%, performing better than statewide Democratic candidates in the district’s conservative southeastern counties and winning comfortably in more liberal areas such as Dona Ana County.
Once in the House, Teague got seats on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.