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Ortiz to stay with Secretary of State rather than go to PRC

Ken Ortiz, chief of staff in the Secretary of State’s Office, said today he has decided to stay in that job rather than accept an offer to be chief of staff for the Public Regulation Commission.

Ortiz, who has been with the secretary of state since 2011, cited the office’s accomplishments in streamlining business filings and modernizing elections and said he wants to stick around as it tackles needed changes in the campaign finance system.

“We have a great team there,” he said of the office.

Ortiz said the stability of his current, classified position — which provides job protections — also was a factor in his decision. The PRC job would be exempt, subject to the will of the five members of the utility regulatory commission.

Ortiz previously headed the state Motor Vehicle Division and the Department of Workforce Solutions.

He makes $103,000 in his current job. The PRC, which voted last week to offer him the job, would have paid $130,000.

There is currently no secretary of state, following the resignation of Dianna Duran last month. She pleaded guilty to criminal charges for misuse of contributions to her campaign.

Gov. Susana Martinez will appoint Duran’s replacement.