Judge contests in the 2nd Judicial District, which covers all of Bernalillo County, are a bit daunting in 2012 if only because of the odd aspects of some races.
Seven sitting judges are vying for four seats on the court, one that often has a significant impact on people’s lives. Three of the seats are in the criminal division, handling felony cases including violent crimes, white-collar fraud, child abuse, murder and more.
One seat is in Division 21, the domestic violence division of family court, where the parties often act as their own attorneys and where rancor can be commonplace. Incumbent Judge Alisa Hadfield , a Democrat and former domestic violence commissioner for the court, is being challenged by family law attorney David Standridge, a Republican and longtime family law practitioner.
Four Metropolitan Court judges are vying for the three criminal seats.
Republican incumbent District Judges Brett Loveless and Sam Winder, both former prosecutors who were appointed by Gov. Susana Martinez, occupy two of the slots. In the third position, Jonathan Ibarra, a Republican and another former prosecutor, is the sitting judge since his appointment in September, but he is not on the Nov. 6 election ballot.
Metropolitan Court Judges Sharon Walton, a Republican, and Christina Argyres, a Democrat, face off for Ibarra’s seat in district court, Division 10, so no matter who wins, there will soon be a vacancy in Metro Court.
And it’s possible there could be more.
For the Division 6 seat, Loveless, who spent 10 years prosecuting child sex abuse cases, is opposed by Democrat Briana H. Zamora, a judge in the criminal division of Metro Court.
Metropolitan Court Judge Ben Chavez, who has spent eight years in the court’s criminal division, is taking on Winder, a former federal prosecutor, in Division 19.
— This article appeared on page C1 of the Albuquerque Journal