Senate rejects confirmation of Chandler as UNM regent

University of New Mexico, UNM
University of New Mexico, UNM

SANTA FE (AP) – The New Mexico Senate has rejected one of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s nominees for the University of New Mexico Board of Regents, and another regent has resigned in protest.

The Senate on Friday voted 23-17 along party lines against confirming former eastern New Mexico prosecutor Matthew Chandler.

The vote followed a combative committee hearing earlier in the day where Democrats rallied against Chandler.

Jamie Koch, whose reappointment as a regent was confirmed by the Senate earlier this week, fired off a resignation letter to Martinez.

He disagreed with the committee’s rationale for refusing to confirm Chandler because of his “political activity.”

The former state Democratic Party chairman asked the governor to accept his resignation, saying he didn’t think he could continue to serve having himself spent many years involved in Democratic politics. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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