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Skandera vote ends in deadlock

A Senate committee deadlocked today on whether to move forward with the confirmation of New Mexico Public Education Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera.

Skandera, who has become a divisive figure in state politics and public schools, told reporters she does not intend to quit her job as a result of today’s vote.

“I’ve made a commitment, and as long as I can deliver on that commitment I will keep doing what I’m doing,” she said.

After extensive testimony on Skandera’s nomination last year, no public comments were accepted during today’s meeting of the Senate Rules Committee.

When it came to voting, the final vote was 5-5 on a motion to move Skandera’s nomination to the Senate floor with no recommendation. Sen. Clemente Sanchez, D-Grants, voted with GOP senators on the deadlocked vote.

That came after a “Do Confirm” motion failed on a 6-4 party-line vote, with Democrats voting against the motion and Republican senators voting in favor of it.

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The two votes means Skandera’s nomination will likely not advance to the full Senate for a confirmation vote, unless the full Senate were to take the rare step of advancing the nomination to the Senate floor.

Meanwhile, the American Federation of Teachers-New Mexico released a statement saying many educators, parents and community members do not support Skandera’s education initiatives.

“By alienating these groups and making policy decisions in spite of, rather than with collaboration from stakeholders, the governors and Ms. Skandera are undermining our state’s ability to succeed,” AFT-NM President Stephanie Ly said.

This is a developing story. It will be updated with additional information.

— For more background, read the story from today’s Albuquerque Journal: Senate committee may vote on Skandera today

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