Barela picked to lead NM economic development

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By Tim Korte

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Gov.-elect Susana Martinez has introduced her nominee to lead the state Economic Development Department, and it's a familiar face.

Albuquerque businessman Jon Barela was in the news a lot in recent months as he unsuccessfully sought the Albuquerque-area congressional seat. Barela lost in the general election to incumbent Democrat Martin Heinrich.

Barela opened his remarks Friday by saying when one door closes, another opens.

He says his economic development focus will be on creating jobs by encouraging cooperation among state agencies.

He gave the examples of coordinating with the Department of Workforce Solutions on job-training programs or with the Transportation Department on infrastructure projects.

He says the state needs to eliminate barriers to doing business, such as complex taxes or turf battles where agencies are unwilling to work together.