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Martinez Picks Douglas Howe to Fill PRC Vacancy

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Gov. Susana Martinez has named Douglas Howe, a Santa Fe resident who’s a political independent, to fill a $90,000-per-year seat on the Public Regulation Commission.

Howe, a consultant with a global consulting and research company, could be a swing vote on the five-member PRC, which currently features two Democrats and two Republicans.

The PRC will be a new frontier of sorts for Howe. In recent years, he has worked on energy-related projects for the governments of Singapore, Netherlands and the Czech Republic, according to his resume.

Nearly 90 individuals submitted applications for the District 4 PRC vacancy created when Jerome Block Jr. resigned from his position after pleading guilty to fraudulent use of a state-issued gas card and other felonies.

Martinez had narrowed the field down to a list of five finalists before making today’s announcement.

Howe, who still must be sworn into office by Secretary of State Dianna Duran, will serve out the final year remaining on Block’s term. Block, an Espanola Democrat, was elected to the PRC in 2008.

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