New Mexico picks new homeland security chief

New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The chief of staff for the state’s senior U.S. senator has been tapped to lead the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Gov. Michell Lujan Grisham announced the appointment of Bianca Ortiz Wertheim on Thursday to run an agency that oversees the state’s response to emergencies and hazards.

Before working for Sen. Tom Udall, Ortiz Wertheim served in various government positions within other Democrat administrations.

She was director of cabinet affairs for former Gov. Bill Richardson and chief of staff for former Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez.

Her husband, John Wertheim, was a previous chairman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico.

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