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Senators Greg Baca and Cliff Pirtle Respond to Confirmation of DOH Secretary


February 10, 2023

Contact: Joaquín Romero

(505) 506-5798

Senators Greg Baca and Cliff Pirtle Respond to Confirmation of DOH Secretary

SANTA FE – Today the New Mexico State Senate confirmed the appointment of Pat Allen to serve as the next Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Health. Mr. Allen was previously forced out of his position as the leader of Oregon’s Health Authority by the incoming Democratic Governor.

Senate Republican Leader, Senator Greg Baca (R-Belen) and Senator Cliff Pirtle (R-Roswell) released the following statements explaining their votes against the confirmation of Mr. Allen.

“Despite Mr. Allen’s long history in health administration, I could not support the nomination of an individual who was rejected by the conservative and progressive candidates for governor in Oregon,” said Senator Baca. “New Mexico has unique and complicated issues, many of which were exacerbated by this administration’s overreaching response to COVID-19. By appointing Mr. Allen, the governor is signaling that she has no regrets about her mishandling of the pandemic and that we can expect more of the same moving forward.”

“While I was glad to hear that Mr. Allen is aware of the detrimental effects Oregon’s lockdown policy had on our children’s education, I still felt that his overall view on public health was incompatible with the needs of New Mexico,” added Senator Pirtle. “We need a Health Secretary willing to buck the political pressures of the governor, and though I could not support Mr. Allen’s confirmation, I hope he will prove me wrong and serve our citizens well.”


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