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Stubbs talks about work on Lujan Grisham transition team

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City Councilor Judy Stubbs has long been a fixture in Roswell politics and local government, but she said that she was nonetheless surprised when asked to be a part of Gov.-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham’s transition team.

“It was all very unexpected actually,” she said in an interview Tuesday.

Stubbs said she received the call around Nov. 15 and she was asked to be a part of the team.

The call came soon after Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, defeated Republican Steve Pearce in the race for New Mexico governor on Nov. 8. She will be sworn in as the state’s next governor Dec. 31 and will succeed Republican Susana Martinez.

Stubbs, along with Jenifer Block, an employee with the New Mexico Department of Transportation, chairs the transition team’s General Services Committee.

The committee is one of seven made up of individuals in government, academics, the private sector and former elected officials charged with interviewing employees within departments of state government, gathering information and developing recommendations for the new administration.

The General Services Committee is composed of 32 members, according to a press release that announced Stubbs’ appointment.

Recommendations will be compiled in a report due in late December, according to Stubbs.

“With any change of administration, especially a change in party, there is typically a change in philosophy and how things are run. So they just really want to know recommendations as to opportunities, challenges, changes, what is working right and all those sorts of things,” she said.

Stubbs represents Ward 3 on the Roswell City Council.

Her career on the council began when she was elected in 1994. She opted not to seek re-election in 2006, and instead made an unsuccessful bid for mayor.

She again campaigned for her council seat in 2008, but was defeated in 2012.

Stubbs made a political comeback this year when she was elected to her current term.

In addition to her service on the council, Stubbs has served on several statewide policy boards and served two terms as president of the New Mexico Municipal League.

Outside of government, she has previously worked as a regional representative for the New Mexico Economic Development Department.

Victor Reyes, co-chair of Lujan Grisham’s Transition Team, in an email said Stubbs’ experience in government and economic development make her input as part of the transition team invaluable.

“Governor-elect Lujan Grisham is committed to ensuring that state government works for every family, business, and community across the state and Councilor Stubbs plays an important role in this effort,” he said.

Stubbs said her task force so far has only had one in-person meeting, but she expects to have more in the coming weeks. She communicates frequently with Block and other committee members by phone and text message.

Stubbs added there is a good chance she will make a few trips to Santa Fe as part of her work. She said that she would prefer to conduct the needed interviews in person rather than by phone.

As to whether she would be willing to take a job in the Lujan Grisham administration, Stubbs said she would give such an offer consideration, but has not put her name forward for any position.

“I just want to do a good job for an administration that I believe a great deal in and that is, really I think, all I can say,” she said.

Reyes said in an email that other Roswell citizens are also on the transition team.

Kyle Armstrong, vice president of Armstrong Energy, is a member of a committee on energy, minerals and natural resources.

Two professors at New Mexico Military Institute are also on committees. Melissa Louks, a business and technical writing professor, is a member of a committee looking at workforce solutions, and Lindsey Mayo Fincher, an English professor, is part of a committee looking at higher education.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.