December 12, 2016

New NM Secretary of State brings in new leadership

Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver

Monday marked the first full day in the office not just for New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, but also for two new staffers.

Toulouse Oliver was sworn in as Secretary of State late last week, about a month ahead of when she was originally scheduled to take office.

Toulouse Oliver’s office announced in a press release that John Blair is the new Deputy Secretary of State and Theresa Chavez-Romero is Toulouse Oliver’s executive assistant.

Blair most recently worked for the U.S Department of Interior as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. Born and raised in Santa Fe, Blair also ran unsuccessfully in the primary election for the New Mexico state Senate in 2008.

Blair told NM Political Report in a phone interview he had been looking to relocate back to New Mexico and came back specifically to work for Toulouse Oliver, saying it was “just a great opportunity.”

Blair confirmed that Ken Ortiz, who formerly served as chief of staff and spokesman will stay on as staff and oversee the corporation division, within the office.

“It is my understanding that he was always in charge of corporations, he was just pulling double or triple duty,” Blair said.

Chavez-Romero previously served as an assistant to Toulouse Oliver in her capacity of Bernalillo County Clerk.

During her campaign Toulouse Oliver said she would address campaign finance regulation and a better reporting system as well hold elected officials to the “highest levels of ethical standards and accountability.”

The election for Secretary of State came at an odd time since former secretary Dianna Duran resigned hours before she was pleaded guilty to felony charges related to misuse of her campaign money.

Toulouse Oliver won the election in November against Rep. Nora Espinosa, R-Roswell, who did not run for reelection in the House to pursue the Secretary of State position.