A Republican Party of New Mexico official has been stripped of his leadership post for making derogatory remarks about people in Española on a conservative radio show last week.

The party’s executive committee unanimously voted Tuesday night to remove Taylor Locker as vice chairman of the 1st Congressional District “due to his inability to conform to the policies and guidelines of the party,” the GOP wrote Wednesday in a news release.

“Locker came under fire after he made comments about the Hispanic community while on an Albuquerque radio broadcast last week,” the news release states. “The action by RPNM’s Executive Committee made it clear that such remarks do not reflect the values of RPNM.”

During Friday’s radio broadcast on The Rock of Talk, host Eddy Aragon introduced Locker as the “newly minted” vice chairman and asked him if he was from Ohio.

“Guilty as charged, although maybe this reference will help you,” Locker responded. “We kind of think of Cleveland when we’re down in the Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton area like you think of Española. You gotta keep that fenced off, make sure those people don’t populate with the rest of the state.”

“Wow,” Aragon, CEO of The Rock of Talk radio station, said before changing the topic.

When Aragon introduced Locker, Locker thanked him for the invitation and said, “Glad to be able to use my big mouth for something constructive.”

Unlike other shows, Friday’s broadcast hasn’t been posted online. Aragon declined to explain why the show couldn’t be accessed online except to say he didn’t have “that recording.”

“You’re looking for dirt on the Republican Party, is that correct?” asked Aragon, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for the 1st Congressional District seat earlier this year and is now running for mayor of Albuquerque.

The New Mexican obtained a clip of the broadcast from an anonymous source.

Robert J. Aragon, 1st vice chairman of the state party, said Locker’s remarks “had serious racial overtones,” which the executive committee found to be “wholly inappropriate.”

“Essentially, he indicated that there should be a fence built around Española and the people of Española should not be allowed to breed outside that fence,” Robert Aragon said.

Efforts to reach Locker for comment Wednesday were unsuccessful.

As the party’s vice chairman of the 1st Congressional District, Locker’s role was to assist the county chairperson and state chairperson “in any assignments the state chair deemed appropriate,” Robert Aragon said.

“He’s still registered Republican; we couldn’t fix that,” Robert Aragon said. “We did fix what we could fix.”

Robert Aragon said the “wonderful, beautiful Hispanic population” is one the Republican Party of New Mexico embraces. It’s also one the party is trying to court as it seeks to increase the number of Republicans in office.

“I can’t imagine that an intelligent man like that would make such a remark, particularly here in New Mexico,” he said, referring to Locker. “It’s beyond rationalizing, and I think that’s one of the reasons we found it even more offensive.”

Robert Aragon said Locker no longer will have any “official role” with the state party.

“The Republican Party in New Mexico will not tolerate such conduct, such remarks,” he said. “There is no place in New Mexico — there’s no place in the world as far as the party is concerned — for such racially insensitive remarks and attitudes. No place in our party.”

In a statement, state party Chairman Steve Pearce said Locker’s comments were in “poor taste” and that board members acted quickly in removing him from his leadership post.

“RPNM will always be a party of diversity and inclusion, and the Board dealt with the matter decisively and appropriately,” Pearce said.

Follow Daniel J. Chacón on Twitter @danieljchacon.

(40) comments

Ramon David

So implicit in peoples reaction to this comment is that the people of Espanola are a different race than those of the rest of the state?

Forgive me, but I thought Hispanic people were represented throughout the state.

Angel Ortiz

Perhaps arrangements could be made for Mr. Locker to visit Espanola in person and he could elaborate more on his opinion of the City? I'd be willing to pitch in for his gas money.

Jake Greene

I'm shocked, shocked! After four years of racial name-calling, invective, and innuendo from the leader of the GOP, who would've ever expected a GOP operative would say such a thing?

Richard Reinders

Unlike other shows, Friday’s broadcast hasn’t been posted online. Aragon declined to explain why the show couldn’t be accessed online except to say he didn’t have “that recording.”

I condemned the comment earlier, but I will hold my judgement until I hear the recording or witnesses to make sure we don't have a Smollett moment.

Marco Allister

First, his assertion is not accurate. There is nothing wrong with the people of Espanola. Second, either the man is ignorant, stupid or a lier or perhaps he's never been to Espanola. Third, that's a man who in no way should be considered up to the job.

LeRoy Sanchez

So true!

Al Chavez

The sad thing is while the Republican Party always says the politically correct thing in condemning overtly racist statements, their leaders know and do very little to counter what they know are the attitudes that so many of their members hold to privately.

Andrew Lucero

Sadly Al, the Democrats aren’t any better. Look no further than Brian Egof and all the other Dems who are protecting Gudgel… Both parties are disgusting hypocrites. Just different sides of the same filthy coin.

Mary Ann Montoya

I have to agree with you. There are despicable individuals in both parties. The worst part of it is they claim to be so intelligent and educated. I know quite a few educated idiots who run their mouth out of control.

Khal Spencer

The GOP strategy, with people like this guy, seems to guarantee that the Republican Party will be irrelevant in the 3rd CD if not the whole state. Now, if we could only get some moderate Dems to run in the primaries against the left so at least we could have a little bit of diversity in government.

Maybe the official GOP uniform should be a hooded sheet.

Angel Ortiz


Paul Branch

Is this the prominent Colonel Taylor Locker of Albuquerque who works or worked for the DoD? Seems important. This https://www.slideshare.net/TaylorLocker/taylor-locker-dod-ea-mil-bio-march-2011-72068929.

Bryan Wehrli

"In poor taste" ? Pearce's condemnation?

Lynn k Allen

"In a statement, the Republican Party Chairman, Steve Pierce, said Lockers comments were out of line..."

... So, Steve Pierce just finds it a little inappropriate, not anything to really be concerned about... The GOP showed who they really are AGAIN.

Prince Michael Jauregui

Locker got caught being a Republican on recording - classic carpet-bagger.

Even still, Democrat Party marks believe their party's own, tired propaganda. Meanwhile the cold, bitter Truth prevails for the deceiving "Party of Inclusion":

Total Native or Hispano-American U.S. Presidents - 0

Total Native or Hispan0-American Vice Presidents - 0

Total Native or Hispano American Speakers of The House - 0

Russell Scanlon

Be patient. AOC will eventually get there!

Prince Michael Jauregui

Mr. Scanlon, be sure, AOC (and her Gang of Boor) is merely the political polar-opposite of Don The Con. The other side to the same dirty coin, if you will.

Still AOC, -not unlike Trumpty- has grown tiresome. For both, their radical, over-theatrical schticks are played-out in a nation surrounded by real, serious troubles.

Off-the-subject Russ, any form of Sexual Harassment is unacceptable and I actually agree with all the Throw-him-under-the-bus-Democrats: He should resign - and take Cuomo with him.

Russell Scanlon

WE both agree that there should be a standard for ethics and conduct while holding public office. Bravo! It seems obvious to any rational human, but it seems to be beyond reach for these politicians (Cuomo definitely included).

But I don’t buy false equivalency with regard to AOC. Whether or not you find her “theatrical” is irrelevant. There has never been a speck of question of her ethics while in office—and besides, whether you or I like it or not, Progressivism has become a force in government.

Mary Ann Montoya

God help this country if AOC gets there. She might since free everything brought to those entitled appeal to the so called woke generation. 👎🙄

Mike Johnson

Another self-inflicted wound for a party that can't afford any more.

JB Weinberg

It's not a party, it's a cult.

rodney carswell

from a "new classic" conservative.

Khal Spencer

And here I thought our party was the king of the circular firing squad.

Mike Johnson

True, we usually do that, say, Gudgel still has her job too, right?

Khal Spencer


Dottie Butler

I doubt that anyone is surprised by the remarks attributed to Locker.

Republicans are an endangered species politically in New Mexico and they can't afford to have the truth revealed so blatantly and publically about their true feelings about the nonwhite majority of New Mexico residents.

I believe Locker's remarks will further jeopardize the political future of the Republican Party in New Mexico, as it should.

Gerald Montoya

The Trump GOP is carefully transplanting their surrogates in all 50 states to take control of all levels of government to implement their extreme agenda which includes hateful rhetoric towards anyone that is not white. Remember Trump's disparaging comments that New Mexico was too brown.... and pledged to get more whites elected? Well now his followers (GOP sheep) are out implementing the Trump agenda with such nonsense (i.e Mr. Locker) ... Any Hispanic that thinks the GOP is an inclusive organization and represents them is greatly mistaken. GOP = Racism in plain sight.

Russell Scanlon

You are correct. I think this only confirms that the modern GOP has become the bloated, corrupt corpse of white supremacy. Too bad. We could really use a serious and substantial conservative political party but Trump has transformed the Republicans into an angry lynch mob. There is no way I will vote for ANY Republican until they completely renounce Trump and accept responsibility for the terrorist attack on Jan. 6th.

Khal Spencer


Richard Reinders

The next election is not going to be about party, it is a choice between socialism or capitalism.

rodney carswell

If the current political dynamic continues, the next election will be about a choice between democracy and authoritarianism.

Russell Scanlon

We are all eagerly awaiting your return of your Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare benefits to the general fund.

Kevin Di Palma

The next election: Democracy vs. trump. Constitution vs trump. Will of the People vs. insurrection.

Russell Scanlon

He only said out loud what they all think.

David Ford

Like Vance's "Healthy ruling class" WOW

Russell Scanlon

Awww—he’s a lovable l’il Fascist!

Richard Reinders


Stefanie Beninato

Another shot in the foot for the NM GOP.

Richard Reinders

100% out of line, did he think he was at a clan meeting?

Dan Frazier

There is no place in the Republican Party for such insensitive comments, he said. Except when it comes to Trump, who not only said a lot of insensitive things, but who also wanted to build a wall along the border with Mexico. Maybe the Republicans need to fix that.

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