Governor Susana Martinez on Friday appointed Bernalillo County Commissioner and former mayoral candidate Wayne Johnson as New Mexico State Auditor.
The appointment of Johnson, a Republican, came the day after Tim Keller, a Democrat who took office as Albuquerque's mayor on Friday, resigned as auditor.
Johnson is currently serving his second term as a Bernalillo County Commissioner where he was elected as Vice Chair in 2016. Johnson is also the owner and president of Vista Media Productions, Inc. and a member of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority.
“It is very clear from Wayne Johnson’s background that he will put the interests of New Mexicans first as State Auditor,” Martinez said in announcing the appointment. “As a county commissioner, he has championed transparency, ethics, and accountability. I am very confident that he will bring those same standards to the auditor’s office.”
Johnson will hold the position through next year's general election.
Johnson told ABQReport that he will take some time to decide whether to resign his County Commission seat.
“This all happened so fast that I haven't really thought about it,” Johnson said. “I will probably give it a little while and then resign.”
Johnson said that, as auditor, he will work to ensure that government agencies throughout the state are following rules and regulations, working efficiently and serving the public.
“I want to make sure that government works well and efficiently and that government entities do their job well and efficiently and be responsible to the public and follow the rules set out by the state Legislature,” Johnson said. “I'm looking forward to the challenge.”
Johnson continued: “It is an honor to be appointed by Governor Martinez to serve our great state as Auditor,” said Johnson. “The people of New Mexico deserve the best. I am more than ready to take on this challenge. Making sure we are holding the necessary agencies and people accountable is critical to maintaining public trust. I will not let my fellow New Mexicans down.”
Johnson has a long history as an active member of the community as a member of the Kirtland Air Force Base Joint Land Use Sustainability Committee, the ABC Community Schools Partnership, and the board of directors of the Mid Region Council of Governments. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
If Johnson, one of two Republicans on the county commission, does resign his seat, Martinez would be the one to appoint his successor.
Johnson was one of eight candidates in the Oct. 3 general election. He came in fourth behind Keller, Dan Lewis and Brian Colón.