GOP women tap Johnson for top post

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By Carol A. Clark

Los Alamos Federation of Republican Women installed new officers Thursday during a special ceremony at the Hilltop House Hotel.

Longtime Republican Party leader JoAnn Johnson is the organization’s new president. Immediate past president, Marie Todd, is now vice president, Norma Tech is the organization’s secretary and Cathy Walters is the treasurer.

New Mexico’s National Committee Woman, Rosie Tripp, traveled from Socorro to attend the installation of new officers.

During her talk, Tripp commended all the members of the local group for their continued dedication. She called on the members to maintain their enthusiasm and to move forward towards future elections.

Tripp is married to state Rep. Don Tripp. She is serving her fourth term and was involved in selecting GOP presidential convention sites in both 2004 and 2008.

Tripp is now running for National Committee secretary.

“It just becomes something you want to do,” she said of her current committee service. “You share victories and defeats with members of other states, network and exchange ideas.”

This will probably be her last term, Tripp said.

“New Mexico is proud to have Rosie represent us,” Johnson said.

“JoAnn and I go back to 1986,” Tripp said during an interview at the Monitor before the ceremony. “We’ve worked on the State Central Committee together  and we’ve been through just about all the state offices. JoAnn is capable and she always does a great job.”

LAFRW member Ann Wadstrom agreed with Tripp saying, “JoAnn is always the person underneath who keeps us all running. She also was our state president for two years and did a wonderful job.”

“I want to build on what Rosie emphasized today – to go forward and build our base and work to elect strong candidates in the future,” Johnson said of her new position.

Johnson is currently the Los Alamos County Assessor, a four-year position she was elected to in 2006. Her office is responsible for valuing all real and personal property for taxing authorities in the county.

Taxing authorities include such organizations as school districts, county hospitals, municipalities, conservancy districts and flood control authorities. Her office also develops and maintains all parcel information in the county and also administers the granting of certain exemptions allowable by the New Mexico Property Tax Code.

The New Mexico Federation of Republican Women was established in 1939. It is divided into three regions and has 20 local clubs around the state.

Members raise money for Republican candidates, host forums and other events to educate the public, register voters, aid in disaster relief, and volunteer for literacy programs. Clubs participate in parades and other celebrations such as Flag Day and Constitution Day.