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Breaking News: Rep. Keith Gardner becomes new Gov’s chief of staff

By   /   November 24, 2010  /   No Comments

Keith Gardner

Rep. Keith Gardner (R-Lea, Roosevelt, Chaves), the Republican House minority whip, has been named the chief of staff for incoming Governor Susana Martinez.

Gardner heads the list of seven appointees announced Wednesday (Nov. 24) by the new Governor. The others are:

  • RYAN CANGIOLOSI, DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF OVERSEEING BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS, CONSTITUENT SERVICES AND CABINET
  • BRIAN MOORE, DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF AND LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR OVERSEEING POLICY AND CABINET
  • JESSICA HERNANDEZ, GENERAL COUNSEL
  • MATTHEW STACKPOLE, ASSISTANT GENERAL COUNSEL
  • SCOTT DARNELL, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
  • MATT KENNICOTT, DIRECTOR OF POLICY AND PLANNING

Gardner has been a member of the House since 2005. A popular legislator, Gardner ran without any opposition in both the primary and general elections in 2010 and 2008.

Earlier this month, we posted a story pointing out how sitting legislators could not serve in a governor’s cabinet. (See story here.) However, a member of the Legislative Council Service assured us that under the state Constitution, the chief of staff position does not apply because it is not a civil office.

Therefore, Gardner can serve under the new governor.

So what happens next regarding Gardner’s seat? It does not affect the 37-33 lead that Democrats hold in the House. And there will NOT be an election for the District 66 seat.

Rather, Gardner will presumably resign his position as a member of the House of Representatives at the end of the term. Since Gardner represents a multi-county district, the county commissioners from each county will send the new governor a recommendation for Gardner’s replacement. However, the governor has the final say. According to a source at the Legislative Council Service, she does not have to choose from among the commissioners’ recommendations. She can choose whomever she wishes.

Brian Moore

As for Moore — named deputy chief of staff and legislative director overseeing policy and content — his name is familiar at the Roundhouse as he served as a state representative from Clayton from 2000-2008 and ran for Lt. Governor in 2010, losing out to incoming Lt. Gov. John Sanchez.

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Since 2010, Rob Nikolewski has covered New Mexico politics and investigated fraud, waste and abuse in government. He also writes an opinion column in the Sunday editions of the Santa Fe New Mexican. Rob joined New Mexico Watchdog after 20 years in television as a sports anchor and reporter. He anchored at MSNBC, New York City, Boston, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Reno and Boise, winning three regional Emmy awards along the way. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, a master's in public administration from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and a bachelor's degree in journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio.

  • http://nmwatchdog Mike

    Way to go Matt and Ryan.. Now keep your promises get rid of them all at Probation Parole.

  • Jones

    Mike, you had to find a way to make this all about Corrections. Have all you bloggers noticed that only Corrections employees are bitter and have nothing better to do than to be critical and mean spirited? Nowhere else but Corrections would you find these kind of employees. No wonder nobody wants to work there.

  • http://nmwatchdog Mike

    No one whats to work for corrections because the corrupt management staff has made them mean spirited and critical. Don’t blame this on the employees, blame this on the outgoing managment staff at PPD. Come January 1st the blogging will be more postive and upbeat.

  • Jones

    I doubt that. You’ll just find somebody else to complain about because that’s what people like you do. You should just appreciate you have a job in this economy and you shouldn’t be wishing bad things on others. You negative bloggers just spread rumors, bad wishes and enjoy watching the blogs spread like a bad case of cancer. It really is a shame that you and everybody else who jumps on the bandwagon, can’t use your time and energy to do or say something more positive instead of blaming everybody else for your problems and bad attitude. What will you do if PPD management stays?

    Will you then leave because life is so unbearable in Corrections? Or will you provide the facts of the so called “corruption”?

  • http://nmwatchdog Pete

    Jones,

    You sound like management to me.

  • Lydia

    It is unfortunate Corrections employees have been so disgruntled. Maybe that’s because they work for the most corrupt department in the state ?? I don’t think anybody has an issue with reporting the corruption, its just that up until now nobody was interested in hearing it. After all the head of PPD is an unqualified appointee. How about those state vehicle leases and gas cards ? :) They can’t keep the lid on that forever !

  • Jones

    Mike,

    Because I choose not to engage in negative banter about management? I’m just another state employee just tired of hearing Corrections employees complain and spread vicious rumors.

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