January 7, 2015

Shakeup at the Secretary of State’s office; Adair, Shearer out


Photo via Flickr by Erik (HASH) Hersman

After four years, Bureau of Elections Director Bobbi Shearer will leave her position. Shearer will stay with the office on a short term basis to work on “legislative initiations and other election related issues” according to an email from Secretary of State Dianna Duran.

Chief of Staff Ken Ortiz confirmed to New Mexico Political Report that Rod Adair, most recently a spokesman for the Secretary of State, is also no longer at the office.

Duran made the announcement about Shearer, obtained by New Mexico Political Report, in an email to county clerks throughout the state.

Duran won reelection against Democrat Maggie Toulouse Oliver in November.

From the Duran email:

I want to let you know that Bobbi Shearer has resigned her position as Bureau of Elections Director and, instead, she will be working on a short term contract with the office assisting with legislative initiatives and other election related issues. Bobbi accomplished some amazing things during her last four years and will truly be missed. She is one of the hardest working people I have ever had the pleasure to work with and I feel blessed that she worked tirelessly with me in such a high stress, high demand job to make this office a better place. She played a vital role in restoring credibility to the office and creating an environment of knowledge and support the county clerks could trust and rely on.

The email says Shearer will be replaced on an basis by Kari Fresquez “effective immediately.”

Fresquez was in charge of Information Systems for the Secretary of State’s office.

“Kari has worked closely with Bobbi over the last few years and not only has an IT background but has learned a lot about elections as well,” Duran wrote to county clerks. “I think it is safe to say that Kari has caught the “election bug” and is passionate about continuing to support the counties.”

Adair took a position in the Secretary of State’s office in 2013, but left the position ahead of the 2014 general election to help Duran’s reelection bid.

He returned following the elections and reporters were told he was the new spokesman for the office.

Shearer was a Republican legislative analyst before she was tapped by Duran to fill the important elections position in 2011.

The Bureau of Elections manages statewide elections, including oversight of ethics and campaign finance matters. The position also works closely with county clerks, who are in charge of actually counting the votes.