A report by a local TV station says that Gov. Susana Martinez has made a decision on the next Secretary of State—and he hails from Albuquerque.
KOB-TV reported on Monday night that Martinez will name Albuquerque City Councilor Brad Winter as the new Secretary of State. The station cited “sources close to New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.”
Update: Martinez officially appointed Winter as Secretary of State on Tuesday morning. The story continues as originally written below.
From the station:
KOB’s sources say the governor was looking for a proven public administrator with a history of turning things around.
Winter, a popular Republican, is seen as a workhorse who is known to clean house when necessary.
KOB-TV also says that the appointment will take place on Tuesday morning.
Winter will replace Dianna Duran, who resigned more than 50 days ago, shortly before pleading guilty to six charges, including two felonies. Duran was sentenced to 30 days in jail on Monday, though the judge allowed her to withdraw her plea if she wishes to contest the full 65-charges. She must make a decision by Wednesday.
Since Duran’s resignation, Mary Quintana has been serving as acting Secretary of State.
The Secretary of State is a key position when it comes to administering elections. Next year is a presidential election, which means higher turnout in elections.
Duran resigned in late October shortly before pleading guilty on six counts, including two felonies related to campaign spending.
Winter will be the second consecutive Republican Secretary of State after Duran; Democrats had held the seat, second in line for governor, since 1931. Winter worked in administration in Albuquerque Public Schools for years, retiring in 2014.
Just months later, he was hired again by APS—this time as interim superintendent after the school district bought out the contract of Winston Brooks, who left after controversy.
Winter also will be the first man to hold the position since Manuel Martinez, who served from 1919 to 1922, according to the Secretary of State’s website.
Winter is the longest-serving current city councilor, having served since 1999, and won reelection just two months ago.
If Winter wants to keep the Secretary of State position beyond next year, he will need to run for reelection. While statewide positions are typically contested in non-presidential years, Duran’s resignation means that an election for the position will be held at the next general election—which in this case is 2016.
Maggie Toulouse Oliver, the Bernalillo County Clerk and 2014 Democratic nominee for Secretary of State, is expected to run for the position.
Toulouse Oliver was one of the many applicants for the position.