State Dems’ chief to step down

From the Santa Fe New Mexican - by Steve Terrell - At the end of the month, Javier Gonzales will step down as state chairman of the Democratic Party. But, Gonzales insists, he will not be leaving politics. However, he’s not necessarily thinking about some behind-the-scenes, party-elder position. In fact, Gonzales said in a recent interview, he’s considering running for some elected office.
     “I was raised believing in public service,” Gonzales said. “I’ll probably spend the summer evaluating options that I might have, whether it be on the elected side or other, and make a decision at that point. I certainly don’t plan on leaving politics.” He declined to say which office or offices he’s considering running for.
     Back in the mid-1990s, when he was serving on the Santa Fe County Commission, Gonzales made little secret that he was interested in running for Congress. But now he says that’s not on his horizon, as long as incumbent U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, a Democrat, holds the seat. Luján, Gonzales said, is a longtime friend and former schoolmate.
     He said serving in an elected office isn’t the only way to “influence good outcomes for your state.” He said his work on the Board of Regents for New Mexico State University is one example. In the recent interview, Gonzales talked about his tenure as party chairman — the high points and the low — as well as the immediate future of the Democratic Party, which next year faces the task of trying to unseat a popular Republican governor in Susana Martinez. Read more