Former Hobbs Mayor Monty Newman was elected to a two year term as chairman of the New Mexico Republican Party at a Saturday afternoon convention of the GOP State Central Committee. Newman defeated attorney Nina Martinez of Bernalillo County.
Newman was backed by Gov-elect Martinez and Rep. Steve Pearce.
John Billingsley of southern NM was elected first vice chair; ABQ's Robert Perea second vice chair; Peter Shams-Avari of ABQ was elected secretary and Bill Redmond of Los Alamos as Treasurer.
There were no vote totals released on the Newman-Martinez race, so we don't know right now if Newman won overwhelmingly. Nina Martinez campaigned for the job until the end and had the support of many backers of failed GOP Guv candidates Allen Weh and Doug Turner.
The chairmanship is primarily about raising money for the next election cycle. Newman had the edge in that category. But by staying in the race Nina Martinez signaled that there are still some fences for the Governor-elect to mend.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2010 Not for reproduction without permission of the author