Update (4:18 pm):
Senator Tom Udall told New Mexico Telegram in a statement
“I have tremendous respect for Secretary Salazar and the work he’s done at the Department of Interior. Managing our natural resources is a responsibility that’s critical for every region of our country and the West in particular,” Udall said. “The position also holds special significance for me because of the great things my father accomplished as secretary. While I’m deeply flattered to be mentioned, my sights are set on fighting for New Mexico on the Appropriations Committee and earning re-election from the people of our state in 2014.”
Post continues as originally written below.
Salazar announced he is leaving the post, very important for New Mexico and the other states throughout the West, in March. Salazar had made multiple trips to New Mexico.
The Secretary of the Interior is usually from the Western part of the United States since its issues are so important to the West; Salazar was a U.S. Senator from Colorado before serving as a cabinet secretary.
The In The Loop blog at the Washington Post says that Udall’s name was put forward by Salazar himself.
We hear Salazar suggested Udall as a potential replacement, and that his name has been sent to the White House for consideration.
If chosen, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Udall would follow in the footsteps of his father, Stewart Udall, in the position.
Stewart Udall held the position during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and is considered one of the more legendary environmental figures in United States history.
Udall has shown all signs that he is running for reelection in 2014. His campaign is raising money.
If Udall did leave the Senate seat to serve in the Obama administration, it could come at a cost to Democrats in the Senate — Gov. Susana Martinez has the power to appoint a replacement and could very well choose a Republican.
New Mexicans recently elected Democrat Martin Heinrich to the U.S. Senate over Republican candidate Heather Wilson.