Harvey Yates takes time to talk about the issues

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By Carol A. Clark

New Mexico’s new GOP chairman, Harvey E. Yates Jr., recently spent time on the phone with local GOP Chair Ron Dolin.

“It’s a good thing I have TiVo,” joked Dolin who was watching sports on television when his phone rang. “I thought he might talk to me for maybe 15 minutes but he spent nearly an hour and I was very impressed with his knowledge and passion for the issues.”

Yates was elected chairman of the Republican Party of New Mexico in January and was the guest speaker at a Los Alamos Republican Party meeting at the Hilltop House Hotel Thursday evening.  

Yates told the room full of local Republicans that New Mexico is faced with an increased liberal majority and federal legislators whose orientation is toward increasing the power of government and diminishing the rights of individuals.

Yates expressed concern about the economy and the way in which President Obama is handling his first weeks in office. “I fear we are on our way to becoming the Argentina of North America,” Yates said.

Yates does not have a political background but drew a wide range of support from party powerhouses such as former Sen. Pete Domenici and Reps. Steve Pearce and Heather Wilson.

“The state party must stand for truthfulness and integrity,” Yates said, adding that he wants to strengthen the party’s relationship with county parties, increase minority outreach, work with Republican legislators and develop a team to help recruit, train and finance candidates for local races.

Yates succeeds Allen Weh, who chaired the party from 2004 but did not seek re-election.

“We are really looking forward to working with Harvey, he’s already said he’d like to see a Federated Republican Women’s club in very county,” said New Mexico Federated Republican Women President Jo Mitchell.

Yates was tapped for the two-year term to help rebuild the state’s minority party after its wide-spread defeat in 2008.

Yates’ family founded Yates Petroleum in southeast New Mexico. He is president of Jalapeño Corp., an oil and natural gas exploration and real estate company.

Yates lives in Albuquerque with his wife Janice.

Republicans also elected former U.S. Rep. Bill Redmond of Los Alamos to serve as state treasurer.

The Republican Party of Los Alamos will hold its Biennial Organizational Convention April 2 at the Trinity on the Hill Parish Hall at 3900 Trinity Drive.

All registered Republicans are encouraged to participate.

The convention begins at 7 p.m. with a meeting of the current County Central Committee. At 7:15 p.m., Ward caucuses to elect 2009-2011 Ward Chairmen and County Central Committee members begin.

At 7:30 p.m., the Biennial Organizational Convention to elect officers of the 2009-2011 County Central Committee and the 2009-2011 County Contingent to the Republican Party of New Mexico Central Committee begins.

On June 13, the State Central Committee will meet in Roswell. Registration for that event is $30.

For information, call Ron Dolin at 672-3581.