Local GOP leader sees ‘opportunity’

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By Tom McDonald

A local leader of the San Miguel County Republican Party says he and other members of his party see an opportunity in Susana Martinez’s election as governor.

“(Party) members feel confident that it is a great opportunity for us to strengthen and rebuild our party,” Republican Mel Root said in a statement after returning from Saturday’s gubernatorial inauguration event in Santa Fe.

“We will receive our fair share of people who will serve in governmental service and on various and sundry boards,” Root said. “Republicans can now go to the front of the line for job placement.”

Root has run twice on the Republican Party ticket for Position 70 in the state House of Representatives. He lost both times to incumbent Democrat Richard Vigil in a staunchly Democratic region of the state. But with Martinez in as governor, he believes the local Republicans will be helped. For one thing, he said he expects more to turn out for local GOP meetings.

Root said the during the campaign Martinez visited Las Vegas more than a half-dozen times because former Gov. David Cargo convinced her that “if you want to win the north, you must come to Vegas.”