The Senate Judiciary Committee today approved Damon Martinez to become New Mexico’s next U.S. attorney.
The nomination now goes to the full Senate for confirmation. Martinez has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney since 2001 and currently supervises the Organized Crime and Gang Section in Albuquerque. His professional experience is most concentrated in national security and anti-terrorism, immigration and narcotics cases.
U.S. Attorneys serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the U.S. Attorney General. They are appointed by, and serve at the discretion of, the president.
Martinez would replace Kenneth Gonzales, who left the position last year to assume a federal judgeship.
Martinez began his career as a federal prosecutor in the Las Cruces branch of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and transferred to Albuquerque in 2005. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s office, he served as an Assistant New Mexico Attorney General.
Martinez is an Albuquerque native and graduate of St. Pius X High School. He holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees, a Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration from the University of New Mexico. He was also a Judge Advocate in the U.S. Army Reserve until 2009, when he transferred to the New Mexico National Guard. He recently returned from a deployment to Sinai, Egypt.
Martinez also knows his way around Capitol Hill. He has served as a legislative assistant to former Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M. and legislative director for current Sen. Udall.
Both of New Mexico’s senators have said the support Martinez’s nomination.