"Thank you for allowing me to be your State Representative. As a lifelong resident of New Mexico House District 65 I believe the people and places in our District is what makes our home so special. I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure our children have the opportunity to receive a first-rate education, inherit an environment to enjoy and have an opportunity to live and work in the State we love."
-Derrick J. Lente
Education, Experience and Values Delivering Results for Our District
Derrick is a son of two Pueblos in New Mexico (Isleta & Sandia). Raised in a traditional Pueblo family with strong work ethics, his parents often worked two jobs to raise he and his two older brothers. Those examples would help mold his values of hardwork, dedication, tradition and family.
Derrick attended Bernalillo Public Schools from kindergarten through his graduation from Bernalillo High School. Derrick took remedial courses at Central New Mexico Community College, transferred to the University of New Mexico and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Intercultural Communications and English. Derrick went on to study law at the University of New Mexico School of Law. He was the first male from his Pueblo to earn a Juris Doctor degree. In addition to a law degree, Derrick was also elected to the Board of Editors for the Tribal Law Journal and earned his certificate specializing in Federal Indian Law.
Derrick is a small businessman and in 2008 followed his dream of entrepreneurship when he purchased an employment agency with offices in New Mexico and California. After years of hard work and dedication, Derrick was employing over 800 New Mexicans and thousands more in other States. Derrick sold the company in 2013 when his company was considered to be one of the largest solely owned Native American corporations in the United States.
Derrick has been a professor and visiting speaker in many universities across the United States. He has first-hand experience working on Federal, State and Tribal issues. Derrick sits on a number of local and national boards that focus on agriculture, education, environment and health and has been identified and awarded the “40 Under Forty” award by both the New Mexico Business Weekly and The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development.
Today, Derrick, his wife Kassandra, daughter Jade, and son Mostin make their home in Sandia Pueblo. Representative Lente works on their family farm and ranch enterprise, Lente Farms. They focus on growing alfalfa and raising registered black angus cattle.
Derrick is a graduate of the New Mexico public school system and became the first male from his Pueblo to graduate from law school. Observing his mother's 45 years of headstart teaching and his experience teaching in New Mexico's public universities, Derrick has witnessed the struggles students, parents and teachers face in the public school system.
Derrick believes it is time to compensate our teachers fairly, adequately fund our schools, beginning at the early childhood level, to provide the necessary resources to ensure our children are prepared for the future.
Derrick believes that all people, regardless of socioeconomic status, race or ethnicity, deserve to live in a clean and healthy environment and that we owe it to our Mother Earth to protect her beauty. In addition to renewable energy, air quality, land use and other important environmental issues, water will continue to be one of our state's most important natural resources.
Derrick has over 20 years working on New Mexico water issues. He understands the importance of water quality and recognizes the delicate balance of appropriating water for Native Americans, farmers, species, recreation and municipalities.
Derrick has a proven track record of standing with his constituents to protect sacred sites, holding people accountable and building bridges between groups. He believes we must proactively collaborate and communicate to protect the environment for our future generations.
Jobs & The Economy
Derrick is a seasoned businessman. Derrick has experienced the challenges of being a small business owner and wants to promote other small businesses in their efforts to prosper, grow and create jobs. Derrick believes that in addition to growing our economy, we must support our workers and ensure they feel secure in their jobs.
Derrick views New Mexico House District 65 as a shining spot for New Mexico's economy and will continue to promote the area to attract additional economic ventures.
Derrick understands that we cannot allow our best and brightest to be forced to leave our state to find quality employment elsewhere. That we have an obligation to our heritage and our families to have opportunities for our sons and daughters to realize their dreams right here in New Mexico.
New Mexico House District 65 includes the counties of Rio Arriba, Sandoval, San Juan and includes seven Indian Pueblos (Cochiti, Jemez, Sandia, San Felipe, Santa Ana, Santo Domingo, Zia), the Navajo Nation Chapters of Counselors, Huerfano, Ojo Encino & Torreon, the Jicarilla Apache Nation and the Towns of Bernalillo, Cochiti Lake, San Luis and San Ysidro.