Former Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales died of cancer Wednesday, according to a statement released by Christus St. Vincent, where he had worked as head of the hospital’s foundation after leaving politics.
Gonzales, who was in his early 50s, was elected in 2014, served one term as the city’s mayor. Gonzales, the city’s first openly gay mayor, decided against running for a second term in 2018, citing a desire to spend more time with his family. After serving as mayor, Gonzales joined Christus St. Vincent as vice president and chief development officer of its hospital foundation.
Gov. Lujan Grisham released a statement on his death saying, “I am deeply saddened by the loss of an undisputed leader and deeply treasured member of the northern New Mexico community. Javier Gonzales was a trailblazer, a fierce advocate, and a dedicated leader – he was also a beloved son, a remarkable father, and an incredible friend, including to me.”
“Even before he became known across the country for his devotion to protecting and furthering equal rights, New Mexicans knew and loved Javier for his dedication to uplifting youth, to improving the health and wellbeing of the community, and to protecting the environment for generations to come. He was a wonderfully kind, courageous, and effective man – New Mexicans have lost an incredible champion. My heartfelt prayers are with Javier’s daughters, his family and friends, and his greater community across New Mexico.”