Born in Portales, NM, and raised in Sherman, TX, before moving back to New Mexico (Albuquerque) for high school, I claim dual-citizenship between the two states.  This is like kissing your sister for most people: technically, it counts but it’s not very satisfying.  But, it works for me.  Probably because I don’t have a sister.

Continuing with the back-and-forth nature of my relationship with these two states, I attended college at McMurry University in Abilene, TX.  After graduating with a BA in history, I moved back to Albuquerque for a year while I tried to figure out what to do next.  The answer should be obvious by now:  move back to Texas, this time to attend graduate school and law school at Texas Tech in Lubbock.  After graduating with a Master of Public Administration and a Juris Doctorate, I went…back to New Mexico where I worked for the New Mexico House of Representatives during a sixty-day session and sat for the New Mexico bar exam.

Not knowing what to do next, I applied for and was accepted into the Presidential Management Fellow program and landed a job in Washington, DC with the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The day before leaving for DC, I married an elementary school teacher who I met in college.  That’s right: our honeymoon was driving from Austin, Texas to Washington, DC, stopping along the way to watch minor league baseball games.  If anyone needs confirmation that I married the right woman, look no further than this.

Miserable at HUD from Day One (mostly because I wanted to be working for the senior Senator from New Mexico, Pete V. Domenici), I persevered until a vacancy came open in the Senator’s office.  Even though this was the best job I could imagine, I left three years later to return initially to Texas.  The wife and I were trying unsuccessfully to start a family and became convinced that we would have better luck closer to friends and family.  Whether our logic was right or not, the results were.  Our first son was born about a year later and he is a microcosm of my bi-state journey.  He was conceived in Texas but, because my job prospects were better across the state line, he was born in New Mexico. 

Not only were they better there, they were significantly so.  I did another tour of duty with the New Mexico House of Representatives before being appointed by President George W. Bush to be the State Director of USDA Rural Development.  This was another job I enjoyed tremendously and I am pretty confident that I left that organization significantly better than I found it.  The only downside to takign a job like this is that you serve at the pleasure of the president.  When the presidency changes parties, it is highly likely that it will not be the new president’s pleasure that you continue to serve.  That was certainly what happened in my case.  When President-elect Obama became President Obama at 10:00 am MST on January 20, 2009, I joined the increasing ranks of the unemployed. 

A couple of months later an opportunity to return to my boyhood home (Sherman, TX) came open, and I accepted a position as what came to be known as the Government Services Director at the Texoma Council of Governments (TCOG).  I had my suspicions that this job was not going to be one I was particularly happy in and, unfortunately, my instincts were right.  While I am once again convinced that I left the organization significantly better than I found it, I was simply not cut out to be a department director in an organization like TCOG.  And, for the past two years, I’ve had the chance to watch my kids play in the same parks, visit the same public library, watch high school football games in the same stadiums, and eat in the same restaurants as I did when I was growing up here.  So, it’s not a total loss.  But, it is time for a change.  Can’t wait to figure out what that’s going to be.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Brian Smith on August 7, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Dude, I just ran across your blog again. You are a very eloquent writer and your posts are very thought-provoking.

    eloquent? thougth provoking? you are definitely a republican. Anyway, keep them coming and let me know how I can help on the job front. Keep me posted on that. Talk to you soon! — Brian Smith (brsmithmba@gmail.com)


    • Thanks, bud. I run hot and cold on writing stuff here. You throw in two – count ’em, two! – cases of strep throat within a month, and my production has definitely declined recently! Physically, I’m back to fighting form; now, we’ll see how long it takes me to get there with the writing… Glad to know you’re out there reading some of this drivel I write!


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