He asks that Pat Woods, elected to replace him, be appointed to seat
State Sen. Clint Harden, who was not seeking re-election, resigned from office Friday.
Harden, R-Clovis, sent his letter of resignation to the secretary of state and the commissioners of the seven counties in his Senate District 7.
He wants Gov. Susana Martinez to appoint Pat Woods, the Republican Senate nominee in District 7, as his successor. Harden asked the seven county commissions to back Woods and forward his name to Martinez.
Woods in June won a high-profile Senate primary over Martinez's favored candidate, Angie Spears. He has no opposition in the District 7 general election next month.
Harden donated $500 to Woods' campaign last spring. He said he disliked the fact that Martinez and her political adviser, Jay McCleskey, intervened in a Republican primary election on behalf of Spears.
The governor's push for Spears backfired, in large part because it included negative campaigning against Woods. Republicans in the Clovis area rejected Martinez's endorsement of Spears and elected Woods instead.
Harden, 65, has been a figure in New Mexico state government since the mid-1990s, when then-Gov. Gary Johnson hired him as secretary of labor.
Johnson appointed Harden to the Senate in 2002, and voters elected him to the seat in 2004 and re-elected him in 2008.
Away from the Capitol, Harden until this year owned the Twin Cronnie Drive-in restaurant in Clovis.
He was among the most reserved of senators. Many of his colleagues did not know that Harden was a quarterback at the Naval Academy and the University of Utah until Democratic Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino talked about it on the Senate floor.
“It has been my honor to serve the people of New Mexico and the district,” Harden said in a statement. “I believe Senator-elect Woods' values are consistent with the views of the constituents in the district and I know he will be successful."