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.
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.