David Salman

Obituary
6 entries
  • "I met David Salman in the early-mid 80's while visiting the..."
  • "Our Prayers and Thoughts are with you. God Bless. Fred..."
    - Fred and Lucy Garcia
  • "Dear David, Your nickname, "Duke", says it all. You were..."
    - Sylvia Gilon
  • "David and I became friends in the 5th grade. He was the..."
    - Bill Hunter
  • "David we go back a long ways,even before highschool and I..."
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DAVID MILTON SALMAN David Milton Salman passed away Sunday, February 28, 2010. He was 74. David Salman combined a northern New Mexico upbringing, a Princeton education cum laude, and a lifetime of ranching, farming, and wildlife preservation, to create a personal and enduring life of service to his beloved New Mexico. This led him into the citizen-legislature and culminated in his work as the Majority Leader of the New Mexico House of Representatives (1971-1978; one of the longest serving majority leaders in state history). In the legislature, Salman represented District 69 which then included Mora, Harding and San Miguel Counties. Salman dedicated most of his life to the family ranch in La Cueva north of Las Vegas, New Mexico in Mora County which he operated for forty years. The ranch was David's passion. One only needed to take a drive on the property with David to understand his deep connection to the land, nature, and wildlife. He served on the Board of Trustees of the Las Vegas Hospital, as President of 1st National Bank of Las Vegas, and as regent at New Mexico Highlands University. David, who was a key member of the fabled Mama Lucy Gang of the 1970's legislature, helped rewrite the book on political influence as he joined with such members as former Speaker Walter Martinez (Grants) and former Speaker of the House Raymond Sanchez (Albuquerque) to craft a coalition of Hispanics, liberal and moderate Democrats, and some Republicans to virtually dominate the legislative agenda from 1971 through the start of the 21st century. As a legislator, he was at the forefront of ideas that have come to prevail today, introducing such legislation as: incentives for solar heating and power systems; energy savings in public buildings to control costs; environmental improvement board powers, sulfur emissions control, radioactive materials disposal, the beverage container act, an appropriation for the acquisition of Vermejo Park and legalization of medical marijuana. He also introduced bills to protect endangered wildlife including hawks, owls, vultures, and the protection of the cougar. He was a primary sponsor of New Mexico's nationally renowned school equalization funding formula and sponsored the creation of the Emergency Medical Service Academy and the Northern New Mexico Rehabilitation Center. It was a horrific automobile accident on a snow-covered highway in 1974 that almost cost David his life, led to years of reconstructive surgery, and effectively ended his political career though not his commitment to public service. Political and news observers in the early 70's had confidently predicted that David would one day serve as governor of New Mexico. David's personal commitment to environmental issues, animal protection, educational opportunities, and the arts were reflected in his continuing support of those issues once he left public office. He served on the board of the NM Arts Commission, the NM Game Commission, and was currently a board member of the Capital Arts Foundation. Additionally, at home on the ranch, he cultivated the La Cueva raspberry farm which has become one of Northern New Mexico's most well known and successful enterprises. David was preceded in death by his beloved son, Andrew Salman and parents Col. William Salman and Frances Delheim Salman. He is survived by his wife Marilyn, children; Jeff Salman and wife Julianne, Bree Lovelady Bornemeier and husband Ryon; and Zachary Lovelady; and four grandchildren: Molly and Mackenzie Salman, Blake and Sydney Zigler; brother William J. Salman and wife Meg; sister Frances Koenig and husband Karl; nephews and nieces: David Salman, Michael Salman, Lynn Trojahn, Lisa Reford, Julia Gilbert. A celebration of David's life will be held in the rotunda of the State Capitol on Friday, March 19th, 2010 convening at 1:00 p.m. Donations in memory of David should be sent to Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society, 100 Caja Del Rio Road, Santa Fe, NM 87507.