SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico’s top education official has been told to resign by a state senator who guides the confirmation process for political appointments.

Democratic state Sen. Linda Lopez of Albuquerque on Monday called on Public Education Secretary-Designate Christopher Ruszkowski to resign over his comments last month about Manifest Destiny and proposed state science standards that omitted references to global warming.

Native American tribal leaders say Ruszkowski offensively referred to Manifest Destiny — the 19th century U.S. doctrine of territorial expansion — as a core American value that drives the state’s education agenda.

Public Education Department spokeswoman Lida Alikhani says that Ruszkowski has no intention of resigning. She said he has reached out to Native American tribal leaders across the state to express remorse for his poorly phrased historical reference.