Gov. Susana Martinez on Friday appointed Bob Wooley of Roswell to represent District 66, which covers Chaves, Eddy, Lea and Roosevelt counties.
Gardner, a Roswell Republican, vacated the position to become Martinez’ chief of staff. Commissions for every county within the district were allowed to send Martinez a nomination to replace Gardner. Martinez could pick from the nominees, or select somebody else, to fill the position.
Roosevelt County Commissioners nominated Matt Rush of Roosevelt County on Friday.
The Legislature opens Tuesday.
The Roosevelt County Commission also meet Thursday with four of the five commissioners present, and a vote was split between Rush and Wooley.
Commissioner Kendall Buzard, who was absent Thursday, gave the fifth and final vote Friday.
Before the vote, Bill Rush, Matt Rush’s father, asked Commissioner David Sanders what Wooley’s qualifications were for the position.
Sanders said Rush had not spoken to commissioners about the position and was unaware of Rush’s interest until this week. Sanders said he had supported Wooley because he is highly respected by Gardner.
Although Matt Rush, who lost his bid for state land commissioner in November, was not at the meeting, he said he was moved by the county’s support.
“I am honored and humbled by the support from Roosevelt County, especially with those who showed up in person to ensure that decision,” Rush said before Wooley was selected.