(Albuquerque) Hal Stratton, co-founder of the Rio Grande Foundation, has joined the organization’s board of directors of New Mexico’s only free market think tank bringing decades of leadership as a voice for accountable and constitutionally-restrained government.
In 1978, at the age of 27, Stratton ran for a seat in the New Mexico House of Representatives in Albuquerque’s District 29 and defeated the House Majority Whip. He was served a total of four terms in the New Mexico House.
In 1986, Stratton was elected to the office of New Mexico Attorney General. He is the only Republican to be elected to that office in New Mexico since 1928. Stratton was limited to one term as New Mexico Attorney General by the New Mexico Constitution and served from 1987 through 1990.
In 2000, along with George Mason University Economist Harry Messenheimer, PhD, Stratton co-founded the Rio Grande Foundation which was and remains New Mexico’s only free market think tank.
In March, 2002, Stratton was nominated by President Bush to be Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). He served in that position until resigning effective July 15, 2006.
During the course of his tenure at the CPSC the agency implemented the largest recall in U.S. history involving children’s vending machine jewelry and imposed the largest penalty on an industry stakeholder for failure to report the distribution of dangerous products. Nonetheless, the fiscally-conservative Stratton actually reduced the CPSC’s total budget during his time in office.
Said Rio Grande Foundation president Paul Gessing, “When it comes to New Mexico’s economy and politics, Hal Stratton is one of the most knowledgeable people around. We are thrilled to have him on the board of the organization he co-founded more than a decade ago.”
Of his officially re-joining the Rio Grande Foundation, Stratton said, “Since returning to New Mexico after leaving the CPSC, I have been extremely impressed with Paul Gessing’s leadership of the Rio Grande Foundation and the impact the organization has had on public policy in New Mexico. I hope to further the organization’s mission on behalf of limited government and free markets in the Land of Enchantment.”
Gessing and Stratton are the only New Mexico signatories of the Statement of Principles of “Right on Crime.” Signatories to the letter which also include Ed Meese, III, Jeb Bush, Newt Gingrich, and Grover Norquist, support common-sense, conservative criminal justice reforms.