The search for a new president of Northern New Mexico College took an unexpected twist Friday: The state’s attorney general is on the finalist list.

Hector Balderas, a lifelong lawyer who is leaving the Attorney General’s Office at the end of the year, was one of four people who will be considered for the post. The others include Española Valley native Dr. Patricia Trujillo, deputy secretary of the state Higher Education Department; Dr. Bruno G. Hicks, vice president of academic affairs at Dalton State College in Dalton, Ga.; and Dr. David L. Johns, president of Ferrum College in Ferrum, Va.

According to an email from the Northern New Mexico College, the candidates will participate in open forums with the campus community and the public before a selection is announced. Barbara Medina has led Northern on an interim basis since the departure of Rick Bailey, who left in January to become president of Southern Oregon University.

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