Judge orders candidate to be listed on ballot - Albuquerque Journal

Judge orders candidate to be listed on ballot

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

A district court judge on Thursday ordered the Sandoval County clerk to list District Judge Karl Reifsteck on the ballot as a candidate for 13th Judicial District Court, an attorney in the case said.

The order overruled a decision last month by Sandoval County Clerk Anne Brady-Romero not to place Reifsteck's name on the general election ballot because he did not register to vote in Sandoval County until June 4.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham appointed Reifsteck on July 7 to a newly created judicial post in 13th Judicial District Court. Previously, he had served as chief administrator and chief counsel in that district, which includes Sandoval, Cibola and Valencia counties.

Brady-Romero's attorney, Martin Esquivel, said Sandoval County officials had not decided Thursday whether to appeal the ruling by 13th Judicial District Judge Mathew Francis ordering the county to list Reifsteck's name on the ballot.

If the decision stands, Reifsteck, a Democrat, will face off Nov. 8 against Republican candidate Allison Pool Martinez for the Division 9 post.

Brady-Romero told Reifsteck in an Aug. 23 letter that he was not a qualified candidate because he had been a registered voter in Bernalillo County when the secretary of state's general election proclamation was issued on Jan. 23.

State law requires that a candidate nominated by the central committee of a political party must have been eligible to run for the office at the time the election proclamation is issued, Brady-Romero wrote.

Reifsteck filed a lawsuit Aug. 29 asking a judge to order Brady-Romero to place his name on the general election ballot.

Reifsteck argued that the judicial post he is seeking did not exist until July 1, when three new judgeships were created statewide.

“At the time Judge Reifsteck registered to vote in Sandoval County on June 4, 2022, there was no notification that this position would be on the ballot because the position had not yet been created,” the lawsuit said.

A new general election proclamation was issued on Aug. 29 that included the new judicial positions and, by then, Reifsteck was a registered voter in Sandoval County, his suit contends.

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