Former Santa Fe Mayor Dies

Javier Gonzales 1966 – 2022.

Javier Gonzales, who served as the mayor of Santa Fe from 2014 through 2018, died today of cancer at the age of 56. Javier was undoubtedly a chip of the old block, following in his father’s footsteps. George Gonzales was the capitol city mayor from 1968 to 1972. Prior to that, Javier’s father served as county commissioner for four years and also ran for congress in 1972. Javier Gonzales was a county commissioner, during which time he was elected as the first Hispanic president to the National Association of Counties. When Javier was elected mayor he was the chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. Gonzales was also the first openly gay mayor of Santa Fe.

Family Legacy Tied to the Fiesta De Santa Fe

Javier Gonzales as Don Diego de Vargas in 1989. From left to right with his three brothers who were part of his cuadrilla, from left: Estevan, Patrick, Javier and the late Anthony Gonzales.

George Gonzales, who died on March 27, 2015, portrayed Don Diego de Vargas in 1961. His brother Jose Gonzales portrayed De Vargas the following year. Javier Gonzales became De Vargas in 1989. The family’s link to the Fiesta de Santa Fe became a family affair. In 1983 Javier’s brother Patrick was the bugler in the De Vargas army and ended up marrying Karmela Borrego, who was fiesta queen that year. His two other brothers, Anthony and Estevan, were captains for De Vargas in 1967. Javier’s two cousins Contesa and Carla Aragon were both fiesta queens. The Gonzales family history with the Fiesta de Santa Fe and their contributions to the Hispanic community continue through their radio station, Que Suave (KSWV), which was founded by the late George Abán Gonzales.

R.I.P Amigo!

At the Misa de Pregon for the 2015 Fiesta de Santa Fe with Javier and my sister, Angela Pacheco.

Please support Ana Pacheco's work at:

Buy Me a Coffee

Our nation’s history would not be complete without the story of Santa Fe. Experience the ultimate Santa Fe tour with local historian Ana Pacheco.