Daniel Gallegos was born in Albuquerque in 1978, the first-born son of Danny and Connie Gallegos. He grew up near Central and Eubank, in what was then referred to as the “war zone” (now more fittingly called the International District). Daniel attended Hawthorne Elementary School and Hayes Middle School.
The Gallegos family moved to Albuquerque’s west-side in 1992 so that Daniel could be closer to his high school – St. Pius X. While at St. Pius X, Daniel was on the varsity cross-country and track teams (his events were the one-mile and two-mile runs, the pole vault, and the 300 IM hurdles). In his senior year, Daniel became a member of the first-ever wrestling team in St. Pius X history. During summers, Daniel worked for the City of Albuquerque Solid Waste Department, pulling weeds and sweeping Civic Plaza.
After graduation, Daniel headed to the University of Notre Dame. He double majored in Marketing and Theology and participated in a number of extracurricular activities, including Bookstore Basketball (the world’s largest outdoor five-on-five basketball tournament), interhall football, and the Notre Dame Boxing Club.
With his mind toward a career in athletics, Daniel returned to Albuquerque in 2000 to pursue a Master’s Degree in Sports Administration at UNM. He worked part-time in the UNM Athletic Marketing Department, giving him the opportunity to assist with game management at The Pit and at University Stadium. He was also a substitute elementary school teacher for the Albuquerque Public Schools.
Daniel decided to attend law school and headed back to Notre Dame. During law school, he participated in law league football, bowling, and Bookstore Basketball. Daniel was a member of the Hispanic Law Student Association and was the vice-president of the Military Law Student Association. And in his third-year, Daniel won the featherweight championship of Notre Dame’s famous Bengal Bouts and was awarded the “Dan Adam Award” as the law school’s best boxer.
After graduating from law school, Daniel joined the United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps. Following officer training in Newport, Rhode Island, he reported to his first duty station at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida. After serving as a prosecutor (and a deployment to Iraq with Task Force 134), he reported to the USS NIMITZ (CVN 68), homeported in San Diego, California. Following a deployment that took him to Japan, Singapore, Bahrain, Dubai, Malaysia, Thailand, and Hong Kong, Daniel left active duty and returned home to Albuquerque.
Since he has been back in Albuquerque, Daniel has served as an assistant district attorney and as a staff attorney at the New Mexico Court of Appeals. He is a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserve JAG Corps. He was mobilized and spent a year in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as an assistant staff judge advocate with Joint Task Force – Guantanamo.
In January 2018, after a recommendation by the bipartisan Judicial Nominating Commission, Daniel was appointed as Judge on the New Mexico Court of Appeals. In December 2018, again following a recommendation by the Judicial Nominating Commission, Daniel was appointed as a District Judge on the Second Judicial District Court, Criminal Division (Division 15).
Daniel is a parishioner at St. Joseph’s on the Rio Grande Catholic Church. He enjoys running, traveling, reading (mainly biographies and military history), and watching Jeopardy! every night.
His father Danny retired from Albuquerque Fire Rescue after 24 years of honorable service. His mother Connie, a breast cancer survivor, recently retired from APS. His brother Dominic is currently a Lieutenant with Albuquerque Fire Rescue.