The state Senate on Wednesday unanimously confirmed the appointment of Jason Bowie, the former deputy chief of the Rio Rancho Police Department, as secretary of the New Mexico Department of Public Safety.
During a morning committee hearing on his confirmation, Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, said Bowie comes to the position “with a very distinguished record in law enforcement” with the city of Rio Rancho after graduating from the police academy in 1994.
“This is someone who has plenty of years to be able to have retired but has agreed to serve in this capacity, and from everything I’ve heard, is doing an excellent job as secretary,” Wirth said.
Bowie, who had planned to retire in 2021, said he was honored by the appointment and decided to join state government primarily because he wanted “to contribute on a higher level.”
Sen. Greg Baca, R-Belen, called Bowie a “credit to his uniform.”
“I think it’s really impressive when someone of his caliber steps up to further serve,” Baca said. “These people could just go home and forget all about it and enjoy their retirement. But instead, that dedication to service rises through and they continue. I just think he’s going to be fantastic in his job.”
Bowie is at least the second member of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s Cabinet who is a registered Republican, which Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, said earlier “speaks to the governor’s willingness to find the best person for the job and to not allow this position to be politically affected in any way.”
Ortiz y Pino thanked the governor, a Democrat, “for going out of her way to make sure that her nominations have been as apolitical as possible.”