Updated: August 12, 2020 09:55 AM
Created: August 11, 2020 10:12 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has been in the national spotlight these past few weeks for her response to the COVID-19 pandemic and for speculation over being a potential vice president selection.
On Tuesday, that speculation was cleared up after former Vice President Joe Biden announced that California Sen. Kamala Harris would join Biden’s November ticket.
Dr. Timothy Krebs, professor and Chair for the Department of Political Science at UNM, said the governor now may be on a short list for a cabinet pick under a Biden Administration.
“The administration is clearly going to be looking to create a diverse cabinet and administration that reflects America and I think she would be considered for one of those posts,” said Dr. Krebs.
Some experts are speculating the governor could be considered to lead the country’s Health and Human Services Department.
“I think her background and experience in health might make that something she really wants to be involved in, given the COVID pandemic and ongoing concerns that will mount to any administration there might be a real legacy there,” said Dr. Lonna Atkeson, a political science professor at UNM.
Prior to being elected as governor, Gov. Lujan Grisham served as the state’s Secretary of Aging and Long-Term Services and as the Secretary of Health before being elected to the United States Congress.
“It’s such a personal decision,” said Dr. Krebs. “You know, I think it’s going to be tempting for any governor, if they’re offered a position like that, to accept it. But there’s definitely a lot of upsides to being governor.”
Atkeson said if the governor is chosen and decides to accept her new position, Lt. Gov. Howie Morales would take over leadership. The senate would then appoint his replacement.
“It would be a mixed bag. Some people would be glad because they think that would be a great pick for the office,” said Atkeson. “Some people would be disappointed for New Mexico. There’s some people who would be glad she was gone just either way.”
All the speculation depends on a Biden victory come November. A spokesperson from the governor’s office the office sent KOB 4 the following statement about her consideration:
“The governor has a job that she loves and worked very hard to get. She will continue to work very hard in that job, every single day, to make better lives for and protect New Mexicans.
Additionally, while the governor has always been committed to doing everything she can to help elect Joe Biden this fall, I would note that you're asking about a potential position in a potential administration that currently does not exist.”
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