Chaves County Republicans elected Robert Corn to be their new party chairman Tuesday at their biennial county convention.
“Sympathy cards will be accepted at any time,” Corn joked after he was elected by acclamation at the convention in the former Copy-Rite Copy and Printing building on North Richardson Avenue.
Corn, chair of the Chaves County Board of Commissioners, has served as a magistrate judge and a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives.
He succeeds Roswell City Counselor Caleb Grant as chairman.
State Rep. Phelps Anderson, R-Roswell, himself a former chairman, said there is an unwritten rule that a person can only serve one two-year term as chairman of the Republican Party of Chaves County.
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Corn said he is excited and is looking to implement some new initiatives that will strengthen the local party.
“It’s going to be fun,” he said. “There are going to be a lot of people involved and we are going to role up our sleeves and we are going to get started and we’ve got work to do.”
Republicans dominated in races for local and state legislative offices in Chaves County in November, but lost every congressional and statewide race in New Mexico.
Democrats also expanded their majority in the New Mexico House of Representatives and maintain a 10-seat majority in the state senate.
Corn said while he is disappointed in the losses Republicans faced throughout New Mexico, his job will be to maintain the party’s strength at the local level.
“I am not going to focus on Congress or statewide races. Chaves County, that has been my home, and that is what I am going to concentrate on,” Corn said.
Other county officers elected by acclamation include Eugene De Los Santos as first vice chair; Carrie Hollifield, second Vice chair; Rhonda Johnson as secretary and Kevin Barry as treasurer.
Local Republicans also elected 17 people to serve as members on the New Mexico Republican state central committee.
Caleb Grant, Judy Hobson, Teresa Barncastle, Will Cavin, Cindy Fuller, Dennis Kintigh, Alice Eppers, Jeff Bilbery, Dorothy Hellums, Charlotte Andrade, Cliff Waide and Casey Conlee were elected to the state central committee.
As county officers Corn, De Los Santos, Hollifield, Johnson and Berry are all automatically elected to the State Central Committee.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.