SANTA FE — A former governor of New Mexico and the president of the Navajo Nation are urging the Senate to confirm the nomination of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s education secretary.
The Senate Rules Committee opened a confirmation hearing Friday on Hanna Skandera, who’s been running the Public Education Department since Martinez took office in 2011.
The committee was given letters of support for Skandera, including from former GOP Gov. Garrey Carruthers and Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly.
Democrats have opposed many education proposals advocated by the governor. Skandera is expected to face questions about her ties to a nonprofit group founded by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to advocate for education policies like those being pushed in New Mexico.
Meanwhile, Skandera is facing a lawsuit by members of the Public Education Commission over her decision to overrule the commission’s rejection of two charter schools, including one that would be Internet-based.
Former GOP Gov. Gary Johnson had two cabinet secretaries rejected by the Senate.