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Democrat challenges Martinez appointee for District Court seat

A longtime state and federal prosecutor and prominent defense attorney are facing off in this year’s only contested District Court judge race.

Democrat Cindy Leos is challenging Republican David Williams for the Division 9 judgeship. Williams was appointed to the post by Gov. Susana Martinez in February after Judge Judith Nakamura was appointed to the Supreme Court.

David Williams, Republican candidate for Second District Court judge

David Williams

Leos worked as a Children’s Court attorney for Child Protective Services for three years before joining the Office of the Public Defender, where she was a supervisor in the violent crimes division. Now she works as a criminal defense attorney in her own practice.

She said she is seeking the position because she wants to continue to serve her community.

Cindy Leos, Democrat candidate for Second District Court judge

Cindy Leos

“As a ‘prosecutor’ with (Children Youth and Families Department) and as a criminal defense attorney,” she said, “I have advocated for both sides completing hundreds of bench trials and several dozen jury trials.”

Williams worked for decades as an assistant U.S. attorney and for three years as a prosecutor in the 2nd Judicial District. He served in the U.S. Army, and worked as a middle school teacher before attending law school.

He said he has brought and will continue to bring sound judgment, intelligence and well-reasoned decisions to the office.

“My brief tenure on the bench has improved the quality of the judiciary,” Williams said. “I want to continue that improvement and continue my career in public service.”

Williams, in a candidate survey from the Journal, wrote that he was arrested for domestic assault and resisting arrest in 2003. The case was dismissed with prejudice, which means it cannot be refiled. Leos wrote that she has never been arrested or charged with a misdemeanor or felony.

Running unopposed for the Division 24 District Court spot is Debra Ramirez, a Democrat who is currently serving as a family court judge.

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