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Five apply to replace Raphaelson as judge in 1st Judicial District

SANTA FE, N.M. — Five lawyers applied by Tuesday’s deadline to fill the judicial vacancy in the 1st Judicial District created by the non-retention vote against District Judge Sheri Raphaelson in the November general election.

The applicants include Jennifer L. Attrep, who served as an appointed district judge for several months last year, temporarily filling a new judgeship pending the November election; along with Julia Hosford Barnes, Paul William Grace, Tyr R. Loranger and O. Christopher Romero. The 1st Judicial District is comprised of Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Los Alamos counties.

The District Judicial Nominating Commission will meet at 9 a.m. Jan. 29 at the Santa Fe County Courthouse, 225 Montezuma Ave., to evaluate the applicants. The commission meeting is open to the public. Anyone wishing to make public comment is requested to be present at the start of the meeting.

The commission will recommend nominees to Gov. Susana Martinez, who will appoint Raphaelson’s successor.

Raphaelson, who typically held court in Tierra Amarilla but also oversaw cases in Los Alamos and Santa Fe, lost her retention election Nov. 4. She needed to get 57 percent of voters to answer “yes” to whether she should stay on the bench but came up about 500 votes short, with 55.87 percent.

She maintained that she was erroneously on the ballot in 2014, but the state Supreme Court in December ruled that she had to step down, effective Jan. 1.