NM mourns death of former Sen. Jim White

Former Sen. Jim White

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – Former state lawmaker Jim White – an Air Force pilot and Vietnam veteran honored for his transparency work at the Capitol – died this week, his Senate colleagues said Friday.

White, a Republican whose Senate district included part of Albuquerque and the East Mountains, served in the Senate from 2017-2020 and the House from 2009-14.

“He was a man that served his country, served his state and served his constituents well,” Senate Minority Whip Craig Brandt, R-Rio Rancho, said in an interview Friday.

Brandt said he and his colleagues learned of White’s death Friday. A relative had found him at home, Brandt said, and his cause of death isn’t yet known.

Senate Minority Caucus Chairman Mark Moores, R-Albuquerque, called White’s death a shock. The two had desks next to each other in the chamber for years.

“Jim was a true gentleman,” Moores said. “He cared, and he was passionate.”

White was a key figure in the 2018 passage of legislation to improve New Mexico’s protections for people who are incapacitated and placed under legal guardianship.

The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government honored him that year with the William S. Dixon First Amendment Award for bringing more transparency to the adult guardianship system.

White lost his Senate re-election bid in the June primary to then-Rep. Gregg Schmedes, who will succeed White for the 2021 legislative session.

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