Woods appointed to state senate seat

Pat Woods said Tuesday that Gov. Susana Martinez has appointed him the District 7 state senator to fill the remainder of Sen. Clint Harden's term.

Efforts to reach Martinez's media spokesman weren't immediately successful. However, Woods said he will be sworn into office 4 p.m. Friday by 9th Judicial District Chief Judge Teddy Hartley in the judge's courtroom.

Hartley confirmed a ceremony has been scheduled.

Woods, a Republican, is running unopposed in the Nov. 6 election after a contentious primary election that saw him beat the governor's endorsed candidate, Angie Spears. Harden submitted his resignation on Oct. 5, saying he hoped Martinez would appoint Woods to fill out the rest of his term.

The move would give Woods a seniority advantage in the Senate, a key to getting appointed to powerful committees in that division of the state Legislature.

For Woods to fill Harden's seat, Martinez requested that commissioners in Curry, Quay and Union counties nominate Woods. Commissioners in all three counties nominated Woods on unanimous voice votes.

"I want to thank each of the commissions for sending my name forward. I believe it was a wise choice, I've already got a head-start on meeting with legislators," Woods said.

Woods says he has already begun drafting legislation and is working on one particularly close to home. He said the "Agriculture Producer Protection Act" would require employees to receive permission prior to taking photos of agricultural operations.

Woods said he is also backing a bill submitted by state Rep. Yvette Herrell from Otero County, requesting federal lands in New Mexico, excluding military bases, Indian Trust Lands, and national parks, be transferred back to the state from the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service.

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