ENG: Jesse Francis "Jeff" Bingaman, Jr. (born October 3, 1943) is a former United States Senator from New Mexico, serving from 1983 to 2013. He is a member of the Democratic Party, and he served as Chairman of Committee Outreach for the Senate Democratic Caucus.
Previously, Bingaman was Attorney General of New Mexico from 1979 to 1983.
On February 18, 2011, Bingaman announced that he would not seek re-election in 2012.
Bingaman was born in El Paso, Texas, the son of Frances Bethia (née Ball) and Jesse Francis Bingaman. He grew up in Silver City, New Mexico. His father taught at Western New Mexico University and his mother taught in the public schools system. At age 15, he earned the rank of Eagle Scout. The Boy Scouts of America later presented Bingaman with their Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.
After graduating from Silver High School, Bingaman went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in government from Harvard University in 1965.
He then entered Stanford Law School, graduating in 1968. He met his wife Anne Kovacovich while attending law classes. They have one son.
After his admission to the bar, Bingaman commenced work as a private practice attorney alongside his wife. He also served as counsel to the New Mexico Constitutional Convention of 1969. From 1968 to 1974, Bingaman was a member of the U.S.
State Attorney General
Bingaman had worked briefly in the state attorney general's office. He ran for the leadership position of this office in 1978 and was elected. Environmental and antitrust issues were some of his biggest concerns while in this position.
U.S. Senate - Tenure
In 1982, Bingaman ran for the Senate against one-term incumbent Harrison Schmitt. Bingaman accused Schmitt of not paying enough attention to local matters; his campaign slogan was "What on Earth has he done for you lately?"--a jab at Schmitt's previous service as an astronaut.
He was reelected four times.
Bingaman is Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and a member of the Finance Committee; Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee; and Joint Committee on the Economy.
Generally, Bingaman kept a lower national profile than conventional wisdom would suggest for a five-term Senator. However, he was very popular in New Mexico; he only faced substantive opposition once, in 1994.
Bingaman and his Senate colleague Pete Domenici were the longest-serving duo among senators in the 110th United States Congress (2007–2009). In second place were Ted Kennedy and John Kerry of Massachusetts. Due to serving alongside Domenici, the longest-serving Senator in New Mexico's history, Bingaman spent 26 years as New Mexico's junior Senator, though he had more seniority than all but a few of his colleagues. He was the most-senior junior senator in the 110th United States Congress.
On April 28, 2008, Jeff Bingaman endorsed Senator Barack Obama for the 2008 Democratic Presidential Nomination.
On December 13, 2008, Bingaman was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from New Mexico State University at the university's Fall 2008 commencement ceremony.