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Hispanic Americans in Congress, 1822-1995


Image of Mariano Otero
[Courtesy Museum of New Mexico #10327]

Republican of the Territory of New Mexico

Forty-sixth Congress
March 4, 1879 - March 3, 1881

A member of the politically and commercially influential Otero family, which included a governor, judges, and held extensive tracks of land and interests in merchandizing and railroad companies, Mariano Otero was born in Peralta, New Mexico on August 28, 1844. He attended private and parochial schools and continued his education at St. Louis University in Missouri.

He returned to New Mexico to engage in business, stock raising, and later entered banking. He became involved in local politics and began his public service career as probate judge of Bernalillo County from 1871 to 1879. The Democratic Party State Convention of 1874 nominated him for the position of Congressional Delegate, which he declined. In 1878 he accepted the nomination of the Republican Party and was elected Delegate, becoming the second member of his family to sit in Congress since his uncle Miguel Antonio Otero had served as Territorial Delegate from 1856 to 1861. Mariano Sabino Otero introduced a bill which passed that authorized the legislative assemblies of the territories to provide for the care and custody of criminals. He declined renomination after one term in order to return to his business.

While dedicating himself to banking and other businesses, he continued his active interest in politics. He served as County Commissioner in Bernalillo County from 1884 to 1886, but was unsuccessful in his attempt to become a Delegate to Congress in 1888 and 1890. In the early 1890's, he moved to Albuquerque, where he served as president of the Albuquerque Bank of Commerce until his death on February 1, 1904.

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