Former Lt. Gov. not interested in heading GOP

David Arkin

Clovis native and former New Mexico lieutenant governor Walter Bradley says he would run for the state’s GOP Party leadership post as a “last resort.”

The state’s GOP Republican Party has until April 17 to elect a replacement for Sen. Ramsay Gorham, who quit her post last week. She also has announced that she would abandon her Senate candidacy.

The move came after weeks of being under fire from some party members who said party rules prevented her from being chairwoman and running against another Republican in the upcoming primary election.

Bradley, speaking from his Santa Fe office on Tuesday afternoon, said he was sure Republicans would find a replacement, but made it clear that he wasn’t seeking the position. Bradley serves as the assistant commissioner for commercial resources for the State Land Commission.

“I would only take the position as a last resort,” he said. “I am confident we will find a candidate who we can field. Being chairman takes a lot of time and the timing for me is not right. I’m happy doing what I’m doing right now.”

Bradley’s name was floating around last week as a possible replacement for Gorham.

While Bradley said he doesn’t want to be a front-runner for the position, he did say someone in eastern New Mexico was interested in filling the post.

“There is someone within 150 miles of Clovis who is involved in the party who is interested,” Bradley said.
Because the individual hasn’t officially declared their interest in the position, Bradley wouldn’t give the person’s name.

Rep. Brian Moore, R-Clayton, said he hadn’t heard of anyone in the eastern area of the state who was seeking the position. Moore has said previously that he wasn’t interested in the chairman post.

Likewise, Sen. Gay Kernan, R-Hobbs, said she didn’t know of any eastern New Mexico residents running for the post. She also said she wasn’t interested in the chairman spot.
Curry County Republican Party Chairman Brett Johnson was out of town and couldn’t be reached for comment concerning who might be interested.

Currently, Bill Humphries, who served as vice chairman under Gorham, is running the state’s GOP Party.

Bradley, who is a Clovis High School graduate, confirmed that Col. Alan Weh has thrown his name in the ring for the position.

Weh is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and lives in Albuquerque. He has been active in Republican politics for a number of years, where he has worked on fund-raising committees, according to Bradley.

“Mr. Weh is in transit back from Iraq and he should be here in a day or two,” Bradley said. “He was called over to Iraq to help on transition efforts for the military.”

Sen. Rod Adair, R-Roswell, said in the New Mexico Political Journal last week that he supported Weh.

“Allen Weh has no enemies list, no need to repeatedly tout his own accomplishments, and no inclination to recite the sins and shortcomings of others,” Adair said. “He also has the focus, maturity and judgment to recognize that re-electing President Bush is our paramount objective. He will want to do all he can to link arms with Bush-Cheney 2004 and the Republican National Committee.”