Tuesday News Roundup: RNC Hires Hispanic Director For NM

Oct 8, 2013

RNC Hires Hispanic Director For NM - Associated Press

As part of its ongoing effort to woo more Latinos, the Republican National Committee is building a permanent ground operation in New Mexico.

The RNC, along with the Republican Party of New Mexico, says it has hired Jose Orozco as New Mexico Hispanic Engagement Director. Orozco's job, the GOP says, will be to "work in partnership with the RNC to ensure a year-round presence in Hispanic neighborhoods" in advance of next year's gubernatorial and congressional elections.

Gov. Susana Martinez faces re-election next year. Attorney General Gary King and state Senator Linda Lopez of Albuquerque have announced they will run for the Democratic nomination. 

New Mexico GOP Chairman John Billingsley says he is confident Orozco will strengthen the party's grassroots efforts to "increase involvement, register new voters, and gain momentum to elect strong Republican candidates in 2014."

Editor's Note: This story originally neglected to include Linda Lopez as an announced candidate for Governor in 2014. We regret the error. 

965 Federal Employees Submit Unemployment Claims - Associated Press

Officials say nearly 1,000 federal employees submitted unemployment claims in New Mexico.

Federal employees who are laid off — including those furloughed during the temporary shutdown of the federal government — can file for unemployment benefits through the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.

Department officials said Monday that there have been 965 total initial claims for federal employees filed on or after Oct. 1.

They say federal employee claims are about 36 percent of all new claims, which total 2,700.

No Impact From Furloughs On Ski Season - Associated Press

A group representing the nation's ski industry said Monday it expects no major impact on this year's ski season because of federal furloughs, even though about a third of the more than 360 top resorts are located on federal land.

Michael Berry, spokesman for the National Ski Areas Association, said most expansion projects and construction that require federal approval have been completed as opening days approach, but he said any future delays could have an impact on the $6 billion a year industry.

Berry said Monday he talked with Forest Service chief Tom Tidwell to clarify how the shutdown would affect the 121 ski areas operating on federal land and was assured resort leases are not immediately affected.

Forest Service officials said any construction issues would be reviewed individually.