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UPDATED: GOP State Sen. Kent Cravens of Albuquerque Resigning

Republican Sen. Kent Cravens of Albuquerque said Thursday that he’ll resign to take a job with a trade association representing New Mexico’s oil and natural gas industry.

In a letter to the secretary of state, Cravens said his resignation was effective Thursday at midnight. The 51-year-old has served in the state Senate since 2001.

Cravens said he is becoming director of governmental affairs for the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association and begins the job Friday. The trade association holds its annual convention in Santa Fe starting Sunday.

Cravens’ duties include lobbying the Legislature and dealing with regulatory issues before government agencies such as the federal Bureau of Land Management and the state Oil Conservation Division.

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez will name a replacement for Cravens. County commissions in his legislative district — Bernalillo and Sandoval counties — will recommend candidates to the governor for the vacant Senate seat.

Martinez said Cravens “has served the people of New Mexico with incredible class and distinction.”

In the Legislature, Cravens pushed proposals to crack down on drunken drivers, including tougher penalties for repeat offenders. His sister-in-law and her three daughters were killed by a drunk driver on Christmas Eve 1992.

Cravens said in an interview that “one of my strong points is being able to bring people together” and he hoped to use those skills in dealing with the Legislature on oil and gas issues.

Royalties and taxes from oil and gas production accounted for about 16 percent of the revenues in the state’s main budget account last year.

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Sept. 29, 2011 4:28 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Republican Sen. Kent Cravens of Albuquerque is resigning to take a job with a trade association representing New Mexico’s oil and natural gas industry.

Cravens has served in the state Senate since 2001.

In a letter to the secretary of state, Cravens said his resignation is effective Thursday at midnight.

A spokesman for the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association said Cravens is becoming the group’s director of government relations. His duties include lobbying the Legislature and dealing with government agencies, such as the federal Bureau of Land Management and the state Oil Conservation Division.

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez will name a replacement for Cravens. County commissions in his legislative district — Bernalillo and Sandoval counties — will recommend candidates to the governor for the vacant Senate seat.

 

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