Q&A: 2nd Judicial District Court Candidate Daniel J. Gallegos

  • NAME: Daniel J. Gallegos
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
  • OCCUPATION: District Court judge, 2nd Judicial District (Division 15)
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Following a recommendation by the bipartisan Judicial Nominating Commission in December 2018, I was appointed to serve as a District Court judge on the 2nd Judicial District Court (Division 15), where I currently preside over a felony criminal court docket. Previously, I served as a judge on the New Mexico Court of Appeals, the state’s second highest court, where I authored several precedential opinions involving criminal and civil law. Prior to taking the bench, I served as an assistant district attorney, where I prosecuted felony crimes against children and domestic violence cases; as a staff attorney at the New Mexico Court of Appeals, where I handled hundreds of appeals from district courts throughout the state; and as an officer and attorney in the United States Navy JAG Corps, with deployments all around the world (including service in Iraq, on board the aircraft carrier USS NIMITZ (CVN-68), and in Guantanamo Bay). From 2015 to 2018, I served on the Board of Directors of the National Hispanic Cultural Center. I am currently a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy Reserve JAG Corps.
  • EDUCATION: St. Pius X High School, 1996. Bachelor of Business Administration, University of Notre Dame, 2000. Master of Science, University of New Mexico, 2001. Juris Doctor, cum laude, Notre Dame Law School, 2005.
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: keepjudgegallegos.com
  • MAJOR PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT: At the age of 39, I was appointed to the New Mexico Court of Appeals, the second highest court in the state. At the age of 40, I was appointed to the 2nd Judicial District Court, where I serve as a felony-level criminal trial court judge in Albuquerque. Serving the people of my state, and my hometown, as a judge has been one of the great honors of my life.
  • MAJOR PERSONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT: Proudly upholding Albuquerque’s great boxing tradition, I won the 2005 featherweight championship of Notre Dame’s famous Bengal Bouts and won the “Dan Adam Award” as the law school’s best boxer. I am also proud to be the first person in my extended family to graduate from college, and I am proud of my military service.

Why are you running and what strengths would you bring to the judiciary?

I grew up in Albuquerque’s “War Zone” and went on to achieve a diverse legal and judicial career. My life experiences give me a unique perspective on justice. As district judge, I am tough but fair, and I am trusted by first responders who see the devastating effects of crime.

Personal background

1. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?


2. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?


3. Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state?

While not an arrest, I, along with 165 classmates from Notre Dame, was cited for misdemeanor “Minor in a Tavern” in South Bend, Indiana, (1998) after a raid on a local bar. The case went through a pretrial diversion program and didn’t prevent me from attaining a Top Secret/SCI clearance.