March 28, 2017

Wilson nomination hearing set for Thursday

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

Heather Wilson.

Former New Mexico congresswoman Heather Wilson will have to divest herself of her and her husband’s stocks in defense contractors if she becomes Secretary of the Air Force.

This came from financial disclosures that the Republican, now president of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, filed ahead of her nomination hearing. The Senate Armed Forces Committee will question Wilson on Thursday. If Wilson clears the committee, which is likely, her nomination will go to the full Senate.

Among the stocks Wilson disclosed were those for Raytheon, Honeywell International, Intel and Verizon Communications. In addition to divesting from these within 90 days of her confirmation, Wilson agreed to immediately step down from her position at the university and from two boards, those or Raven Industries and Peabody Energy. She also pledged to not have anything to do with South Dakota School of Mines and Technology for at least one year and from Raven Industries for two years.

Wilson also announced she would resign from other groups, largely local groups like the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce.

Wilson was a congresswoman in New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District, which is mostly the city of Albuquerque, for more than a decade, ending in 2009. Wilson also is a graduate of the Air Force Academy and served as an Air Force officer in Europe.

But it’s her time after serving in Congress that will likely get the most attention from Democrats on the panel.

Some questions at the hearing will likely revolve around her role in helping Lockheed Martin lobby for more federal funds and her contracts with several nuclear weapons laboratories that raised eyebrows.