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Gonzales to lead state Democrats

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By The Staff

The state Democratic Party’s central committee has elected a former Highlands regents to be the party’s state chairman.

Javier Gonzales, a member of the New Mexico State Board of Regents a former Santa Fe County commissioner and ex-chairman of the Highlands Board of Regents, was elected on a voice vote Saturday at Isleta Pueblo.

Gonzales replaces outgoing chairman Brian Colon, who resigned Aug. 8 to run for lieutenant governor.

Gonzales will serve the remainder of Colon’s term, which expires in April 2011.

Lt. Gov. Diane Denish nominated Gonzales, who faced no opposition.

Gonzales served as a Santa Fe County Commission from 1994 to 2002 and as Highlands regents chairman from 2004 to 2006, during most of Manny Aragon’s stormy tenure as president.

The party says Gonzales was the first Hispanic elected to serve as president of the National Association of Counties.