McClure confirmed as higher ed secretary

Staff and wire reports

SANTA FE — The Senate has confirmed Beverlee McClure as the state’s first secretary of higher education, but several Democrats and Republicans voted against her nomination.

A 2005 law created the Higher Education department, which replaced the appointive Commission on Higher Education.

McClure served as president of Clovis Community College from 1999-2005 before Gov. Bill Richardson named her higher education secretary.

McClure, who was appointed in 2005 to the higher education job, is paid $157,497 a year.

The Senate voted 28-6 to confirm McClure. Voting against her confirmation were Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, Sens. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque, Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque; Tim Jennings, D-Roswell; Vernon Asbill, R-Carlsbad; and Senate GOP Leader Stuart Ingle of Portales.

Ingle declined to say why he voted against her other than, “I think she can do a better job.”

Clovis Republican Sen. Clint Harden said he missed the vote and he declined comment on how he might have voted and why.

McClure could not be reached for comment.