Orlando Romero Announces Candidacy For District One Santa Fe County Commission Seat

Orlando Romero/Courtesy photo


Orlando Romero of Pojoaque has announced his candidacy for the District One Santa Fe County Commission seat.

“I feel I have been an effective facilitator in local and state government, and after encouragement from residents in my community, I have decided to remain active and hope to be even more useful as an elected county commissioner,” Romero said.  

Romero will run in the June 7, 2022 Primary Election.  

Romero, who was born and raised in Pojoaque, is the son of Alfonso “Punchy”  Romero and Trinidad Salazar, both deceased.  They owned and operated Al’s Drug Store in Pojoaque for over 50 years.  Romero credits his parents and the community who supported the business and the family of eight. 

“District One is one of the most culturally diverse districts in New Mexico. This brings both challenges and powerful opportunities. Being born and raised in this district I understand and deeply respect this diversity and the longstanding traditions that live here. 

“If fortunate to be elected, it will give me a two-fold opportunity. Firstly, I get to give back to the extended community that helped provide the roof our heads, put food on the table, and provide us with educational opportunities. And secondly going forward, my pledge is to build on existing community strengths to construct a solid foundation for the growth and development for upcoming generations through my priorities listed below.” 

Romero has an extensive resume in both the public and private sectors.  One of his most recent positions was as the Constituent Services Liaison for Henry Roybal, the current District One County Commissioner whose term ends in 2022.  

Other notable experience includes serving as Deputy Secretary of the New Mexico General Services Department, Deputy Chief of Staff in the Governor’s office, Chief Clerk for the New Mexico State Corporation, Chief of Staff for the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, and as the State Cash Manager/Director for the New Mexico State Treasurer’s Office.

Romero was the director of the Pueblo of Pojoaque Tribal Realty department involved in land use planning and development.  He also owned his own consulting firm representing local governments and private sector businesses. Romero also was General Manager of the Rio Costilla Cooperative Livestock Association.  Romero retired in April 2020.

“I believe I have a full understanding of this unique, diverse, rural and urban district,” he said.  “Throughout my career I’ve gained experience and skills that I believe will help facilitate the needs of the people in this area, many of them whose family has lived here for generations.”

District One consists of 18 communities, two municipalities, and four tribal governments.  It currently extends from the southeastern part of Espanola, Santa Cruz, Cuartelez, La Puebla, Sombrillo, Arroyo Seco, Rio Chiquito, Chimayo, and Cundiyo, to the north; San Ildefonso Pueblo, El Rancho, and Jaconita and Jacona to the west; Pojoaque, Pojoaque Pueblo, Cuyamungue, Nambe and Nambe Pueblo in the central part of the district;  Rio en Medio, Chupadero, Tesuque and Tesuque Pueblo; and nineteen precincts in the north central part of the City of Santa Fe. 

Romero listed the following priorities if elected to District One:

  • Water Management – Ensure the continued traditional uses of water in the area (i.e., acequias for agriculture use, etc.); supporting methods of conserving water for future generations;
  • Road Infrastructure – Ensure road and infrastructure improvements;
  • Broadband Expansion and Improvement – Ensure the district gets the necessary infrastructure to allow robust broadband availability for school, home, and business use; and, to help obtain and coordinate additional and allocated resources within the district;
  • Alternative Energy/Preserving the Environment – Work to support, increase, and improve solar, wind, and battery power in the district, including energy cooperatives, local, and tribal governments; support issues that address preserving the environment;
  • Mutual Beneficial Relationships – Help serve as a facilitator and point person in helping pool resources and establish joint ventures among the organizations, groups, and individuals in District One;  
  • County/City Joint Power Agreements – Request appointment to the Buckman Direct Diversion Board that oversees drinking water for the city and parts of District One consisting of  Santa Fe County commissioners and Santa Fe City councilors, and the Santa Fe Solid Waste Management Agency.
  • Open Space – Maintaining open spaces for use by the constituents of District One for recreation (walking, hiking, etc.) and for aesthetic purposes.

Romero attended grade school at Holy Cross Elementary is Santa Cruz and graduated from St. Michael’s High School in Santa Fe.  He holds a BA Degree from Creighton University and a BBA degree from the College of Santa Fe.  

Romero has two adult children and is a proud grandfather.