Whether she is hosting radio news programs or speaking out on the Senate floor, Carrie Hamblen has proven to not only be the voice of the people but a true voice for change. Carrie Hamble is a former broadcast journalist who is currently serving as a New Mexico State Senator for District 38. Hamblen is an advocate of renewable energy, women’s rights, same-sex marriage, and the environment.
Born in Wisconsin, Hamblen grew up in El Paso, Texas after her father retired from the military. Sadly, Carrie Hamblen lost her father at the age of 12 from a heart attack. In 1992, Senator Hamblen earned her B.A. in Broadcasting at the University of Texas at El Paso and then moved to New Mexico. She earned her Master’s in Communication Studies from New Mexico State University in 1995. In 2014, Hamblen returned to NMSU to receive her second Master’s degree in Public Administration.
From 1992 to 2012, Hamblen worked at the NPR affiliate in Las Cruces, KRWG, and served as the Morning News Anchor, Operations Manager, and host of the public affairs program, Images which ran for 15 years. Hamblen won several awards for her reporting and interviews on Images.
On August 21, 2013, the Doña Ana County Clerk’s Office announced that they would begin granting same sex marriage licenses. On that day, Carrie Hamblen married her wife Char Ullman, a professor at the University of Texas at El Paso, and they were one of the first couples granted a same sex marriage license. This life event is noted in her campaign website as one of her most memorable moments.
In 2020, Hamblen ran for the New Mexico Senate and secured the Democratic nomination in June of 2020 after beating incumbent Mary Kay Papen, who had served in the New Mexico Senate for 20 years. In the November general election, she defeated her Republican challenger, Charles Wendler. She was officially sworn in as Senator by Lieutenant Governor Howie Morales on January 19th, 2021. During the Legislative session, Hamblen championed access to healthy food, statewide data collection for the LGBTQ+ community, allowing 16 year olds to vote, and more. She was part of a 7-person freshman class of legislators that helped pass monumental legislation in New Mexico like legalizing adult-use cannabis, the Elizabeth Witfield End of Life act, using a percentage of the Land Grant Permanent Fund to support Early Childhood Education, and repealing the 1969 anti-abortion law.
Aside from being a journalist and a Senator, Hamblen is hands-on in her community and has served on the boards of several different organizations and advocacy groups. Senator Hamblen served as the president of the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope board of directors for four years, is a member of the Leaders Circle of the Success Partnership for Ngage New Mexico, an organization that supports children’s education, and was a member of the Governing Council for the J. Paul Taylor Academy, a social justice charter school. Carrie has put in decades of volunteer work for the LGBTQ+ community in Las Cruces. She served as the chair of the Southern New Mexico PRIDE organization and was the president of the Las Cruces PFLAG chapter, an outreach and advocacy organization for the LGBTQI community and their allies. Because of her love for public speaking Carrie enjoys emceeing for New Mexico’s PFLAG, PRIDE, and other local nonprofit events.
In 2014, Hamblen spoke at a ceremony where former President Barack Obama declared the Organ Mountains Desert Peak a National Monument. Hamblen had the opportunity to speak to and thank the president for his support and share with over 400 legislators, congressional leaders, and advocates of public lands the importance of connecting local economies to national monuments and parks. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer/President of the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce, an organization that strives to promote local businesses while also encouraging environmental consciousness and sustainability.
When Senator Hamblen is not busy representing District 38, talking about the importance of supporting local businesses, or emceeing local events, she enjoys spending time with her wife Char, their pets, and fixing up their 70 year-old home.
Senator Hamblen’s resilience and willingness to fight for others is an inspiration and a reminder that when people come together change is possible.