SANTA FE, N.M.—Gov. Susana Martinez has appointed former Alamogordo mayor Ron Griggs to a vacancy in the state Senate.

Griggs was elected to the southern New Mexico Senate seat in the general election and succeeds Republican Vernon Asbill, who did not seek re-election and resigned at the end of October.

By serving the remainder of Asbill's term through the end of the year, Griggs gains an advantage in seniority, which will help him in landing committee assignments

The governor made the appointment on Tuesday, saying Griggs was recommended by the boards of county commissioners of Otero and Eddy counties, which are part of the Senate district.

Griggs, a Republican, defeated Democrat Ellen Wedum of Cloudcroft in the Nov. 6 general election for a four-year term in the Senate.