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Courtesy photo

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nearly 80 New Mexico county commissioners, county sheriff s, county managers, and guests traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend a private briefing and tour at the White House on July 27. The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs has organized similar events for county officials in each state to visit the White House and attend a personalized briefing from federal officials. The purpose is to develop a working relationship between the White House/Federal Agencies and the county commissioners.

Among them, attending was Lea County Commissioner and New Mexico Counties President Rebecca Long and Eddy County Sheriff and New Mexico Counties President Elect Mark Cage.

“It was a real honor to also hear from Vice President Pence. The White House understands that county commissioners are the front line and know the needs of our communities,” said Commissioner Long. “The White House furthermore understands that we need to know who to contact on the federal level so we were given a contact list during our conference. Commissioners and county managers must now use this list and make it known on the federal level that New Mexico is serious about taking care of the needs of our citizens in all 33 counties.”

Vice President Mike Pence made a surprise visit to welcome the delegation from New Mexico and spoke about the economic recovery and the administration’s desire to work closer with county officials.

Kellyanne Conway, Assistant to the President and Senior Counselor, addressed the opioid epidemic spreading across America, making it a priority of solving the problem and helping families. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson talked about solutions to the nation’s poverty problems. Department of Interior Tim Williams spoke about the proposed changes to ESA and the goal to streamline regulations.

The New Mexico Counties is a non-profit, nonpartisan association representing New Mexico’s 33 counties since 1936. Its mission is to strengthen New Mexico counties’ ability to govern their own affairs and to improve the well-being and quality of life of their constituents. NM Counties provides numerous services to counties including legislative advocacy, self-insurance administration, legal assistance, and professional development. For more information, please visit http://www.nmcounties.org.