SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday issued the following statement upon the death of retired state Rep. Nick Salazar:
“Representative Salazar was an exemplary public servant. He represented Northern New Mexico, but all New Mexicans benefited from his service. Whether it was through his advocacy for New Mexico seniors and their well-being, his support for our national laboratories or the resources he delivered for Native American communities, he demonstrated over the course of more than 40 years as a member of the Legislature that he understood the needs of workers and families in our state.
“Personally I considered Nick to be something of a father figure. He believed in me and mentored me and so many others. He was instrumental in establishing the Indian Area Agency on Aging and he sponsored the creation of the Aging and Long-Term Services Department. As its first secretary, when I thought I knew everything there was to know about New Mexico seniors, he generously guided me, helped me grow and find new ways to deliver for them. He knew innately how to reach people. He was kind, he was tenacious and he was a gentleman. I will miss him so very much, and I know his colleagues in the Legislature will, too. My thoughts are with his family, friends and loved ones, and I pray that his memory is a blessing for them.”