ALBUQUERQUE, AUGUST 28 — The Republican Party of New Mexico is sad to learn that former Carlsbad Republican State Senator Don Kidd passed away yesterday. Kidd died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 82.
RPNM wishes to express its heartfelt condolences to the Kidd family and friends.
Kidd was a political force at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe for more than a decade. He served in the Senate from 1993 to 2005 representing Eddy, Lea and Otero Counties in District 34.
Kidd was in the banking business, and he eventually became President and CEO of Western Commerce Bank. He was also a past president of the New Mexico Bankers Association.
As a lawmaker, Kidd co-wrote New Mexico’s predatory lending law and had testified in state legislatures on mortgage lending abuses.
“Don was a great man and did a great job as a Senator,” said Sen. Minority Leader Stu Ingle. “He always wanted to do the right thing, and his constituents governed his votes. He specialized in helping small businesses and did whatever it took to help New Mexicans when it came to banking and loans.”
Kidd was also a higher education advocate. In the legislature he co-sponsored the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship bill, which has helped thousands of New Mexico students to afford college. The state has provided more than 114,000 such scholarships thanks to Kidd’s efforts.
Kidd also helped establish a transfer scholarship for NMSU-Carlsbad students to attend NMSU’s Las Cruces campus, and he created the Don and Sarrah Kidd Endowed Chair in Literacy in the College of Education.
Kidd was a true advocate for literacy and devoted years to providing ways for people around the state to learn to read.
“Education meant a lot to him,” said daughter Vickye.“ He was proud to live in a country that would allow him the opportunity to succeed. He was self-educated. He always said what was important to him was that he wanted to provide a means to educate his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He always said learning is a lifelong experience, and a lifelong process.”
“He loved people and was very kind,” said wife Sarrah. “He was always thinking of others. He worked very hard for success, but he wanted to make sure others had opportunities to succeed. Education was so important to him.”
Kidd attended Southern Methodist University.
“Don was a kind, generous man, who helped change lives as a dedicated lawmaker,” said Republican Party of New Mexico Chairman Steve Pearce. “He was a true friend, who poured his heart into work and valued his constituents. He will be truly missed. Don was a real New Mexico treasure who cared for his beloved state.”
He was heavily involved in New Mexico State University where was an ardent supporter and served as a university Regent from 1985-1991. He received several awards from NMSU and received an honorary doctorate in 2006. In 2017 he was awarded NMSU’s Presidential Medallion.
Kidd is survived by his wife, three daughters and five grandchildren.