SANTA FE (KRQE) – A day after former New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran was given jail time, Governor Susana Martinez appointed Albuquerque city councilor Brad Winter as her replacement.
Winter, who was just reelected to city council in October, will serve as Secretary of State until the end of 2016. The seat will be up on the November ballot to fill out the last two years of Duran’s term. The Governor’s office says Winter will not run for that position.
“Brad Winter has the integrity, skills, and temperament to step in as Secretary of State and serve New Mexicans with distinction,” said Governor Martinez in a Tuesday morning news release.
“These are unique circumstances, but I believe that we will be able to rise to the challenge and uphold New Mexico’s election laws, operate an efficient Secretary of State’s office, and oversee a professionally managed presidential-year election,” Winter said in a news release from the Governor’s office.
New Mexico Democrats reacted sharply against the announcement, pointing out that Winter employed one of Martinez’s top political consultants during his reelection bid.
“Now is the time to end corruption and clean up state government, not to appoint another one of the governor’s cronies in a desperate attempt to keep the Martinez house of cards from falling,” wrote party chair Debra Haaland in a news release.
It is not clear at this point if Winter will keep his post as city councilor.
This is not the first time Winter has stepped in amidst a scandal. He was appointed the interim superintendent for Albuquerque Public Schools last year after the school board bought out Winston Brooks.