Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Health Woes Force State Democratic Leader to Quit.(Final)

Byline: Loie Fecteau Journal Politics Writer

SANTA FE -- Santa Fe businessman Bill Sisneros, unanimously elected chairman of the state Democratic Party just over a month ago, has stepped down because of health reasons.

State Democratic vice chairwoman Joni Gutierrez, a Las Cruces landscape architect, has taken over as acting chairwoman until a new leader can be elected later this summer, party leaders said Tuesday.

"I'm always happy to be in charge of a good party," Gutierrez said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "Our No. 1 goal is to make sure Bill (Sisneros) gets healthy and stays healthy."

Gov. Bill Richardson, who supported Sisneros's election as chairman, said Tuesday he was sorry to lose Sisneros but that he was confident Gutierrez "will be a very good state chair. …

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