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Senator Gay Kernan to Retire after 21 Years in the New Mexico Senate

SANTA FE – Senator Gay Kernan (R-Hobbs) today announced her retirement from the New Mexico Senate after 21 years of dedicated public service.

“After much prayerful consideration and with the help of my family, I have made the difficult decision to resign from my seat as New Mexico State Senator for District 42, effective August 1, 2023,” said Senator Kernan. “I have not taken for granted the trust and confidence the voters have placed in me. Serving the constituents of Lea, Eddy, and Chaves Counties in the New Mexico Legislature has been a privilege and a tremendous honor. While I will miss my constituents and colleagues, and while transitions can be challenging, I am confident the Lea, Eddy, and Chaves County Commissions will recommend a qualified nominee from which my replacement will be selected.”

First appointed in 2002 by then-Governor Gary Johnson, Senator Kernan is currently the sixth longest-serving member of the Senate and one of the longest-serving woman legislators in New Mexico history. She is the Ranking Member of the Senate Tax, Business, and Transportation Committee, and is widely respected for her expertise in education given her 18-year career as a school teacher.

Senator Kernan is also a longtime small business owner in Hobbs and has received many awards and accolades including the Lea County Women's Network Career Achievement Award; the Hobbs Board of Realtors Citizen of the Year Award; the Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow recognition; and the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce Rookie Legislator of the Year Award.

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