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Smooth transition promised

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By Carol A. Clark

SANTA FE – To ensure a seamless transfer of power, Gov. Bill Richardson is including Lt. Gov. Diane Denish in all budget briefings until his confirmation as U.S. Secretary of Commerce, expected to occur in mid-to-late February.

“The lieutenant governor is being briefed by my staff,” Richardson said during a press conference in his cabinet room Thursday. “I’ll make the decisions, but she’s going to have a role.”

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Richardson will vacate the office of governor with two years left in his second four-year term and Denish will become governor.

“I’ve been confirmed twice by wide margins and don’t expect any problems,” said Richardson who previously served as Energy Secretary and Ambassador to the United Nations.

New Mexico’s legislative session begins Jan. 20 and Richardson said he will open the session and remain involved, dividing his time between Santa Fe and Washington, D.C. during the senate hearings.


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