Code talker, longtime state senator passes away
May 24, 2019 06:30 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Code talker and New Mexico's longest-serving member of the state senate, John Pinto, has passed away.
Pinto served as a Democratic member of the senate since 1977 representing the 3rd district which includes the Navajo Nation and much of San Juan County.
Pinto served in World War II as a Navajo Code Talker. He also was recently given an honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service from Navajo Technical University.
Pinto was 94-years-old.
Tributes are pouring out over social media Friday from lawmakers who served with Pinto:
It is with extreme sadness that I report that Sen John Pinto passed today. Sen Pinto was our longest serving NM state senator, a code talker, a fighter for a strong public education system, a champion for issues related to the Navajo people, and a good friend. @NMSenateDems pic.twitter.com/OOQ5dIxb18— Sen Michael Padilla (@SenPadilla) May 24, 2019
What an honor to have known John Pinto and served with him in the New Mexico state Senate. A true public servant and American hero. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.— Peter Wirth (@senatorwirth) May 24, 2019
Today our state lost a legend, & I lost an old friend. Senator John Pinto and I became very close during the time we served together in the Senate. At 29, I was the youngest senator, & at 83, he was the oldest. We often ate together and worked together over the next six years. pic.twitter.com/rp40nJwrat— Mayor Tim Keller (@MayorKeller) May 24, 2019
Updated: May 24, 2019 06:30 PM
Created: May 24, 2019 12:12 PM
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