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Former Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales dies of cancer at 55

February 10, 2022 GMT

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Javier Gonzales, who served one term as the mayor of Santa Fe, has died after a battle with cancer, authorities said Wednesday. He was 55.

Gonzales’ death was announced by Christus St. Vincent where he had worked as vice president and chief development officer of the hospital’s foundation after leaving politics.

In an interview with the Santa Fe New Mexican in October 2020, Gonzales said he was diagnosed with cancer after he’d struggled with hip pain and a loss of energy.

He told the newspaper that doctors found a tumor near one of his kidneys.

Gonzales was elected in 2014 and was Santa Fe’s first openly gay mayor.

He decided against running for a second term in 2018, citing a desire to spend more time with his two daughters.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of an undisputed leader and deeply treasured member of the northern New Mexico community,” New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement. “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.”

Funeral plans were not immediately disclosed.