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More MS news articles for February 2003

Ag secretary expected,1413,115%257E7442%257E1194307,00.html

Friday, February 21, 2003
By T.S. Hopkins
Sun-News reporter

State Rep. Andy Nuñez, D-Hatch, said he will accept the post of N.M. Secretary of Agriculture if it is offered to him.

The current secretary, Frank Dubois, is expected to retire from the post in the coming weeks. Dubois said he has no comment on his retirement or a search for his replacement.

"I will comment at the appropriate time," DuBois said Wednesday.

NMSU Board of Regents President Jim Manatt explained the process the university will use to select the new secretary.

"The first step is to form a search committee," Manatt said. "From there a nationwide search will be conducted and the committee will pare the candidates to maybe three or five for the final selection."

Manatt did not have a timetable for the naming of a new secretary of agriculture.

Nuñez is among the names mentioned as possible successor to Dubois.

He said it is his understanding a search committee is being formed now.

"I was considered for the post before Frank," Nuñez recalled Thursday from Santa Fe. "But, Pete Domenici (U.S. senator, N.M.) had Frank put in there."

Asked if he is interested in the position and would accept if offered, Nuñez said, "Yes, to both questions."

Nuñez added, "Frank is a friend of mine. I retired from New Mexico State University when I ran for the Statehouse. I was the assistant to the Dean of the College of Agriculture and the lobbyist (in Santa Fe) for NMSU for 10 years."

During his tenure at NMSU, Nuñez developed educational links between the university and Mexico and all of Latin America.

"The governor (Bill Richardson) is real strong on developing agricultural ties with Mexico," Nuñez pointed out. "I would certainly continue that work."

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