Judge Candidate Statements

Please read these informative statements of candidacy for those seeking the election of the County Central Committee for Metro Court Division 16, and unopposed Division 1, as well as statements for unopposed District Court Div 30.

Click the candidate’s name to jump to their statement.

Candidates for Metro Court, Div. 16:

Governor’s appointee for District Court Div 30: Judge David Murphy
Governor’s appointee for Metro Court Div 1: Asra Elliott

Michael Fricke, Candidate for Metro Court, Div. 16:

Service is important to me. Over my 29 years as a lawyer, I have developed the knowledge and judgment to serve well. I have over 22 years of experience as a criminal lawyer. For twenty of those years, I prosecuted cases in Bernalillo County. I have prosecuted drug cases, property cases, white collar crimes, racketeering cases, child abuse, and violent crimes including criminal sexual penetration and murder. I have conducted probation violation hearings, suppression hearings, and responded to writs of habeas corpus. I have instructed police cadets and officers as well as less experienced lawyers. From 2011 to 2017, I was the deputy in charge of the White Collar Crimes Division; from 2017 to 2019, I was a deputy in charge of a section of the Violent Crimes Division. I responded to on-record and de novo appeals at the district court level from approximately 2004 to 2007. I have also filed and responded to extraordinary writs in the Supreme Court. I have tried approximately 50 criminal jury trials. I have responded on behalf of the State to approximately 70 on-record appeals and approximately 70 de novo appeals from Metro Court from approximately 2004-2007. In addition, I have filed or responded to 3 extrordinary writs in the Supreme Court; I have argued at the Supreme Court once.

I have the experience and the determination to do the hard job of Metro Court judge conscientiously. After spending many years watching judges and thinking carefully about what it would be like to do the work, I am anxious for the challenge. I imagine the position is both difficult and engaging. Of course, I believe I am fair, knowledgeable, and understanding. I also work to listen carefully. Listening well is not easy, but I have learned the resolution of criminal cases and legal problems often occurs through patient listening. I like to think that my knowledge and experience would be useful, and I have a need to contribute. I have a compulsion—rarely pleasant but not to be denied–to sort out legal puzzles and get the right answer considering the facts, the law, and the people who are affected. Though I can be self-effacing, I’m not afraid to commit to what I believe is the right decision. I’m looking for a new place to do challenging, meaningful work. I have spent most of my career serving Albuquerque, and hope to continue service as a judge.

Claire McDaniels, Metro Court Judge, Div. 16:

It would be an incredible honor to join the bench of the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court. I have dedicated the past seven years of my career to the incredible work done in the Metropolitan Courthouse. I have practiced in the courthouse as a prosecutor during that time.

My personal experiences and professional experience make me uniquely qualified to be a judge on the Metro Court bench – and I know I would be truly great at it. My first real job after graduating law school in 2010 was working for a civil rights law firm. I loved meeting with clients and hearing their stories. It was fascinating work. I learned what bad policing looks like and how harmful it is to the individual affected by it. I saw firsthand how devastating it is to be abused by someone in a position of power and I will never forget the stories I heard from the firm’s clients. I became a prosecutor in March of 2013 because I wanted courtroom experience. I wanted to learn how to be a trial attorney. I soon learned to love a lot more about being a prosecutor than just the training and courtroom experience. I love that I have the ability to do justice. I can decide to not initiate a case or to nolle a case if I do not believe it is in the interests of justice. I can give individuals an opportunity to get treatment and be diverted from the system. I also love that I get to speak on behalf of the community and I get to be there for victims of crime.

As someone who was the victim of a violent crime, I feel I have a unique ability to listen to survivors and make them feel heard and respected. I also understand that many of the defendants I see have been through trauma and have been victims of violence.

I understand the Metropolitan Courthouse. I have practiced there every day for 7.5 years as a prosecutor. At its core, Metro Court is about rehabilitating low level offenders and nonviolent repeat offenders so they do not go on to commit more serious crimes. I am passionate about these goals and have dedicated my career to them in order to improve the health of our community.

I have been a prosecutor for almost a decade. I care about public safety. I understand the role the Metro Court Judge can play to improve community safety. Specifically, making sure officers are on the street instead of sitting around the courthouse, making the process less abusive and taxing to victims of crime, and rehabilitating low level offenders and reintegrating them back into our community. 

I have a reputation in the legal community for working well with everyone, for being extremely fair, being someone who is always willing to listen to opposing views and collaborate to find solutions. 

I believe in and embody the values of the Democratic Party and I would be an excellent representative of the Party in the role of a Judge at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Courthouse. I have fresh ideas and new perspectives and I could really leave a mark on the Courthouse and on the community if elected to the Metro Court bench. Being a judge at the Metropolitan Courthouse is my dream job and I would put my heart and soul into it.  

Steven Diamond, Metro Court Judge, Div. 16:

I have always wanted to put myself in a position to make a positive difference in other people’s lives and within my community. So when I first entered the work force I pursued jobs where I felt like I could help people. This included working as a counselor at a residential treatment facility for foster care child with emotional difficulties. I also worked as a pretrial services officer, assisting judges in determining whether Defendants could be released on their own recognizance. While I felt successful in helping people at these jobs, without an advanced degree I felt limited in my ability to help people, and limited in my ability to make larger structural improvements at the places where I worked. This is what motivated me to go to law school. After law school I worked as an attorney in a number of settings, but didn’t reach the career fulfillment I was striving for until I moved to Albuquerque to work as a prosecutor. I started at the office in the domestic violence division, and I’ve spent the majority of career prosecuting cases involving domestic violence, sexual assault, and crimes against children. I found great fulfillment in helping to protect some of our most vulnerable victims in our community escape the cycle of abuse. Now, after over fourteen years as an attorney and ten years at the District Attorney’s Office, I still strive to be in a position to make the greatest difference in people’s lives and to help improve our community. I believe that becoming a judge will afford me the greatest opportunity to continue accomplishing these goals by helping the victims of crime, those accused of crimes, and by finding ways to improve our criminal justice system.

As a judge I will accomplish my goals by working diligently to make sure that the rights of Defendants are protected and that every case I handle receives the attention it deserves. I will also bring a number of ideas for improvement to the Metropolitan Court. These ideas come from my years of practice, where I have been able to see what has and hasn’t worked. I look forward to coordinating with other justice partners to implement these improvements so that our system works better for everyone involved and accomplishes the goals of rehabilitation, community safety, fairness, and equality.

I will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the bench that make me well suited for the position. The duties of a Metropolitan Criminal Court Judge include handling all level of misdemeanor cases, reviewing search and arrest warrants relating to serious felony allegations, and specifically for this position, presiding over a docket of felony preliminary examinations. During my prosecutorial career I have represented the State in all of these types of settings. I am familiar with and have prosecuted every type of case on a Metropolitan Court docket. These include traffic infractions, DWIs, domestic violence charges, and officer prosecuted misdemeanors. I have taught a class in officer prosecution at the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office Cadet Academy. I have tried cases in Metropolitan Court, represented the State at custody arraignments, worked with detectives in reviewing felony warrants, and presented cases for preliminary examination.

I believe it’s important to emphasize my work with preliminary examinations. This is because the Metropolitan Court has already determined that the judge that is selected for this position will be handling a docket that is exclusively felony preliminary examinations. For background, felony preliminary examinations are on the record hearings in felony matters where witnesses are presented and the rules of evidence apply. They are like mini-trials, after which a judge determines whether there’s probable cause that the allegations occurred, and if so the case is brought over to District Court. During my time as a prosecutor I have screened and presented hundreds of cases for preliminary examination. I have supervised attorneys who are preparing cases for preliminary examinations, helped with charging recommendations and witness preparation, and taught continuing legal education classes on laws and procedures related to preliminary examinations. Therefore, I am very well prepared for the job of presiding over these hearings and will be able to hit the ground running in this docket.

It’s also important to realize that preliminary examinations play a larger role in our criminal justice process. They are the starting point for the vast majority of felony cases in Albuquerque. Right now our criminal justice system in Albuquerque is facing a huge problem. Because of the COVID global pandemic, there is a backlog of felony cases in District Court that haven’t been resolved. This has resulted in too many people being incarcerated for years under unfavorable conditions while awaiting trial. It’s also caused large numbers of people to be released with minimal supervision and support while their cases are pending resolution. This has impacted our public safety. Our District Court has worked diligently to decrease this backlog, but they can’t do it alone. To decrease the backlog we need to decrease the flow of new felony cases into District Court. That’s why it’s imperative that the judge selected for this Metropolitan Court preliminary examination docket have ideas on how to accomplish this. I believe I have those ideas and the ability to effectuate them. As a judge I’d like to better utilize the diversionary courts and develop new programs so that cases can be resolved on the misdemeanor level. This will allow those Defendants to receive the treatment they need without facing the collateral consequences of felony convictions. Additionally, I will work to better coordinate with the District Court on cases that are close to resolution, so that if cases are brought over to District Court they can be resolved in a matter of days, instead of the months and years that it’s now taking for them to be resolved.

Although my knowledge and experience will aid me in accomplishing the goal of decreasing our backlog and improving our criminal justice system, these changes can’t be made unilaterally. The judge chosen for this position needs to be able to work well with other justice partners, like the defense bar, the District Court, law enforcement, and the District Attorney’s Office. It will take a coordinated effort to implement these changes. I believe my demeanor and temperament are well suited to lead this coordination. I am known for being a fair and understanding prosecutor. None of the jury trials I have represented the State at have become overly contentious. My adversaries will say that I am reasonable and easy to work with, and my colleagues will say that I am knowledgeable and hardworking. I have built a reputation as someone who is fair and reasonable in both the Metropolitan and District Courts in Albuquerque. I believe this ability to work well with others, including my adversaries, will help me when trying to bring together justice partners who often have competing interests.

In sum, I know that my experience, vision for change, and ability to work with others to implement that change make me the perfect candidate for this Metropolitan Court judgeship. I look forward to discussing these issues and listening to your concerns and interests during this selection process, and hope that you come to the same conclusion about my candidacy.

Daniel Roberson, Metro Court Judge, Div. 16:

My Name is Daniel Roberson and I am applying for the Division XVI Metropolitan Court judicial opening. My professional experience makes me a perfectly qualified candidate but it is my life experiences, work ethic, good-natured demeanor, and diversity that make me an excellent choice for the position.

I was born in Cd. Juarez, Mexico 37 years ago to a Mexican mother and an African American father. The rich culture and history of both my parents are a huge part of my identity and outlook in life. While it has been a blessing in many ways, I am also well aware of the problems caused by our society because of skin color. While in high school, I was detained by police for fitting the description of a “young Black man in a sedan with a hoodie”. I was just a scrawny, nerdy teenager walking back to my mom’s minivan from a 7-Eleven with my hands full of snacks. Once during a school soccer trip, another Black child and myself were singled out and were refused food service at a restaurant in Arizona. These types of encounters, though thankfully rare (for me), are part of my life experience which informed my work as a prosecutor and would do so also as a Metropolitan Court Judge.

I started my legal career with the Second Judicial District Attorney’s Office in New Mexico. Many people think that attorneys are supposed to always go for the win. As a prosecutor, I fully understood that my job was justice and that meant gracefully accepting what some would call losses. I made sure I closely reviewed my cases and that I had strong evidence to move forward. My life experience made me conscious of possible bias which I tried to mitigate through my work. I naturally have a calm temperament and friendly demeanor and these qualities greatly increased communication with the opposing side to advance justice, to the best of my ability.

After seven years as a prosecutor, I went to work for the Bernalillo County Attorney’s Office. A large part of my job consists of facilitating communication and cooperation between different justice partners in the County. From social workers, law enforcement, jail officials, and Judges, I do my best to help because I know that better engagement and collaboration in the system impacts everyone in our community.

I am experienced, knowledgeable, and of a good temperament, all of which are valuable traits for a Judge. This is particularly important in Metropolitan Court because many new attorneys start their careers in Metro. In fact, I too benefited from these Judges when I first began my career. Judges that were professional and approachable made me feel comfortable asking for critique which ultimately helped me become a better attorney. It also helped ease the stress and anxiety of all the practitioners in the courtroom. A knowledgeable Judge, that also has a good demeanor, is a valuable resource to new attorneys and it is something I would ensure they receive.

Professionalism and a good demeanor are qualities that benefit more than just new attorneys. The Metropolitan Court sees people of all races and socio-economic classes walk in and out of its doors every day, and all of them deserve to be treated with respect. As a Judge, I know that I would serve the people of Bernalillo County fairly and professionally.

I am applying for the Division XVI Metropolitan Court judicial opening because representation matters. I can no longer complain about the lack of African American Judges in New Mexico if I, who am more than qualified, never apply. Thank you for your consideration.

Shonnetta Estrada, Metro Court, Div. 16:

I believe because I have the ability, I have the responsibility to serve my community in the most impactful way that I can. In all aspects, but particularly in the criminal justice system, representation matters. Representation matters because the criminal justice system is most effective when all those involved are both understood and feel understood. My ability to understand is more than basic empathy or imaging what it could be like. My sense of understanding comes from memories and experiences. Those in the criminal justice system, both victims and defendants are often impoverished and traumatized by their upbringing.

As a first generation college graduate that grew up in poverty, I can be an example to defendants and victims that no matter how traumatic, violent, or rough your past is, that trauma does not define the future. A Judge is required to uphold and promote the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary. When these values are upheld the community has confidence in the judiciary. These values are upheld when each and every person involved is held accountable. My experience as a prosecutor and knowledge of the ethical consideration, internal procedures and limitations will allow me to fairly hold prosecutors accountable. In working with law enforcement and litigating constitutional issues regularly will allow me to also fairly hold law enforcement accountable. Through my work with the Innocence and Project and the Public Defender’s Officer, I understand the challenges and the defense perspective. That understanding combined with working with defense counsel on cases as a prosecutor will allow me to also hold defense counsel accountable.

I want to be a judge because I understand fairness and equity. I understand the choices and consequences made when trying to survive a single day and those made when trying to build an impactful, meaningful life. I want to be a judge because I have seen the system succeed and fail, over and over. I have known how the impact of a single decision made by a single judge in a humble local court can last a lifetime. I want to be a judge because representation matters to our citizens. Representation matters in ensuring equal access to justice and equity grows through consistent daily administration of justice. Life has prepared me, from a very early age, to face the many challenges foreseeable in this role. I wish for you to have confidence in me as an attorney. My professional skills and experiences will allow me to hit the ground running, should I secure your vote for this post. I have experience with a wide range of cases, from prosecuting felony DWI cases to property crimes to first-degree homicides. I have extensive trial experience and currently hold a supervisor position. I have experience with every stage of a case and particularly preliminary hearings. I wish for you know that my life’s work is and will be bound in protecting integrity of the system for which we all serve.

Todd Olmos, Metro Court, Div 16:

My name is Todd A. Olmos, and I have been a registered Democrat in New Mexico since I was first eligible to register to vote, in 1992. I am a third generation New Mexican, I was born in Clovis and moved to Albuquerque in 1985. I obtained my undergraduate degree and Juris Doctor Degree from the University of New Mexico. I am only the fifth person in my family to attend college, and I am the first to obtain a doctorate degree.

I am running for this position because I believe in public service. I desire to change my role from advocate working for the Public Defender’s Office to judge of the Metropolitan Court in order to continue this public service. I suffered a massive stroke at the age of 28. I was in a coma for five days, and when I awoke the right side of my body was paralyzed. I was fortunate that my mental faculties were not affected, (I even remembered, shortly after gaining consciousness, to ask about the results of the election that happened while I was in the coma). I had to relearn how to breathe on my own, to swallow, and to walk again. This experience made me more appreciative of my life and also made me question my purpose. After five months of hard work in rehabilitation, I managed to get back to my job. At the time, I was working for a call center as a supervisor, but I started wanting a more meaningful direction for my life. I had an undergraduate degree, but decided to go back to school to explore other career possibilities. I took business courses, counseling courses, and computer courses, and then my significant other suggested I explore the law. I began taking paralegal courses at CNM and eventually got my Associate’s Degree. An externship opportunity with Legal FACS, a non-profit organization, allowed me to apply my learning to help indigent people. I helped them to fill out forms, and I assisted them with the filing processes to obtain divorces, child support, orders of protection and other domestic matters. I enjoyed helping so much that, after my externship ended, I stayed on at Legal FACS as a volunteer. When a position opened up I was hired as their paralegal. I continued on with the study of law and went to law school. I found that I really enjoyed criminal law and did externships with the Law Offices of the Public Defender of New Mexico (LOPD). After I graduated, I was hired by the LOPD and have been working in their Metropolitan Court Division ever since. I continue to enjoy serving New Mexicans who need help with their cases and guidance with navigating the court system.

I have been a public servant my entire legal career. As an attorney with the LOPD, I have been representing New Mexicans for more than ten years. I have appeared multiple times a week in the Metropolitan Criminal Court. This includes nearly 100 trials.

As an attorney exclusively practicing in Metropolitan Court, I have seen the workload and how it is a special place. Many of the people seen at this court are having their first introduction to the criminal justice system. This court has the ability to creatively resolve issues and cases, often through the use of its specialty programs. I have participated, as a representative, in many of the specialty court programs and have seen firsthand the good work done.

I have the necessary skills, experience, and knowledge to be a good judge. I have practiced in front of numerous Metropolitan Court judges. I have seen and experienced the knowledge, discipline, and organization needed to be successful in this position. I have also learned through observing many judicial styles and demeanors. My integrity, my ability to be objective, and my even keeled nature will make me successful in this position, and I am asking for your vote. Thank you.

Carlos Scarborough, Metro Court, Div. 16: 

I’m Carlos Scarborough and I ask for your support in placing me on the ballot this November in seeking the Metropolitan Court Judicial Vacancy in Division 16. I started my legal career in 2006, working as an associate in a private law firm here in Albuquerque but that didn’t last long. I had a calling for public service. I applied to the public defender’s office and worked in the metro division for several years before leaving to open my own law office which I successfully ran for eight years here in Albuquerque, handling personal injury, criminal defense, estate planning and property work. 

When I left the public defender’s office, my father, who is an attorney, was nearing retirement and I wanted to practice with him. I was fortunate to learn from him and have the opportunity to work with him. I then had a calling to run for metro judge in 2014. I ran against the Republican appointee. I met many wonderful people campaigning around Bernalillo County and I learned a great deal. I’ll never forget the experience. 

It was around this time that my mother was undergoing chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. She improved for a short time but the cancer metastasized and spread to her liver. My wife and I cared for her at our home until she passed. We were blessed to have shared those difficult moments together with her. Unfortunately, as life goes, my wife was in the hospital undergoing a lumpectomy procedure the day my mother died at our home. A couple of months later, Anna had a double mastectomy. Today, Anna is healthy and strong and I’m grateful and blessed to have her in my life. 

Shortly after Anna finished with chemotherapy, we decided that I get back into public service and I again applied to the public defender’s office where I currently work as a supervising attorney in the Metro Division. I enjoy training and supervising new attorneys and every year I have at least one extern under my supervision. 

I’m seeking this position because I enjoy working with people. I believe in people. I believe that I can help people make better decisions in order to make a difference in their lives. I want to help redirect first-time offenders out of the system, especially youthful offenders. I want to help protect our citizens and make Bernalillo County a better, safer place to live, to raise a family, to work, to enjoy. I know Metro Court, I know the issues, I know the people. Having been raised in Espanola, I can relate to the majority of people who come before the Court. I have the experience, the knowledge and the demeanor to serve as a fair, law abiding judge. I come from a family of dedicated public servants. My grandfather and father were both district court judges in the First Judicial District. My father was then elected to serve the citizens of New Mexico on the New Mexico Supreme Court. I’m proud to have this opportunity. I would be honored to carry on my family’s public service. 

Over the years, I’ve represented more and more elderly clients and as a judge, I would like to start an Elder Court Program to address the needs of this population, to provide the resources specific to the elderly and help them to gain easier access to the court, its programs, probation, etc. 

I currently have the honor of being a member of the Community Veteran’s Court Program at Metro Court. This program provides mental health and substance abuse treatment and resources to veterans. I’m also involved in a pilot project called STEPS, where defendant’s who are on probation and commit violations, receive more therapeutic sanctions rather than just jail. This is helpful especially for first-time offenders and for those who suffer from addiction. 

I’ve volunteered at the Roadrunner Food bank and with Big Brothers Big Sisters. I served as vice president for my neighborhood association and I’m a former member of the Penitent Brotherhood. I like running in the mountains and wood carving and Anna and I like to hang out with our niece and nephew and watch Netflix. 

It would be an honor to serve the citizens of Bernalillo County and I ask for your support in nominating me this November. Please feel free to contact me at carlosscarborough@gmail.com if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you.

Edmund Perea, Metro Court, Div. 16: 

I respectfully request the support from the Bernalillo County Democrat Central Committee to represent the Democrat party as the Democratic Party’s nominee to appear on the November 2022 ballot, as a candidate, for the open Metropolitan Court Judgeship. Being elected and serving as a Metropolitan Court Judge in Bernalillo County fulfills a life long journey of preparation, commitment and service to my community and Bernalillo County. I have been a licensed attorney in New Mexico for over thirteen (13) years. I am extraordinarily qualified and experienced to assume the role of Metropolitan Court judge. I have served our community as an attorney and the party as Ward Chari with distinction. I am extremely passionate about fairness, objectivity and justice for all in our community. I am devoted to the Rule of Law and our Constitution.

I am prepared to immediately take on a candidacy for Metro Court Judge, as I recently ran for District Attorney, of Bernalillo County, in the 2016 election cycle and amassed over 20,000 votes countywide of democratic voters. I am a lifelong member of the Bernalillo County community. I was born, educated and served our community over several decades. I attended public schools in Albuquerque. After graduation I gave back by serving as a school coach and teacher.

I learned at a very young age about the importance of fair and equal justice. My parent’s instilled values and the need to be treated fairly and to treat others fairly in all we do. I have raised my family here in Albuquerque and am committed to ensuring our criminal justice system treats all fairly and with compassion.

I served our community through service with the Albuquerque Police Department (A.P.D.) as a police officer. Over my career I worked in some of the most historically underserved communities in our county, providing fair and just treatment for all as a police officer that would continue as a judge. I earned recognition as a police officer and was awarded the Human Rights Award, by the Albuquerque City Council, for my exemplary and fair treatment of others. I was also awarded the Community Service Ribbon, by A.P.D. for an extensive number of Letters of Commendation I received from members of the community.

After my career in law enforcement, I attended the University of New Mexico School of Law. I received recognition awards while a student at the law school including the Dean’s award and Faculty award for distinguished service. I also earned a spot on the law school’s academic honor roll roll. And served as my class student body president

Upon graduating from law school, I continued to give back to our community. I served on the Equal Access to Justice charity committee, which provided resources to those who are unable to afford legal services. I have also provided pro bono services to clients who could least afford legal services.

I have served Bernalillo County as a member of the County’s Code of Conduct Review Committee. This committee’s role was to hold all members of the Bernalillo County government including elected officials accountable I was nominated and confirmed by the Bernalillo County Commission. I also served with distinction as the president of the Albuquerque Bar Association. The Albuquerque Bar Associated represents and provids services to active legal practitioners including paralegals in Bernalillo County. I have taught law and ethic courses, as adjunct faculty at both public and private educational institutions including at Central New Mexico Community College.

I previously served as a member of the Police Oversight Taskforce, which was responsible for crating a system of oversight for the Albuquerque Police Department. I was nominated and confirmed by the Albuquerque City Council. Currently, I am a two-term chairman of the Accountability in Government Oversight Committee. This role also required confirmation by the Albuquerque City Council.

I bring a wide range of skills developed from my time serving as a Law Enforcement professional with the Albuquerque Police Department (A.P.D.). My service with A.P.D. expands nearly 24 years, which was spent in a variety of roles, from police officer, detective, to a commanding officer. I have a vast amount of community leadership and legal experience. I have worked closely with diverse members of our community from all walks of life. My experience is well rounded. I have served as a special prosecutor with the Thirteenth Judicial courts, as a senior litigator with a large corporate firm and currently I manage my own law practice. I possess a vast amount of courtroom experience in the Metropolitan Court where I have appeared before the court in my professional capacity as a police officer and attorney. I have also served as a mediator with Metro Court. At present the vast majority of my cases are in the Second Judicial District Court.

As a judge, I will be able to make a positive difference in the lives of those in the community both inside and outside the courtroom. Educating and mentoring others has always been important to me. As a judge I will have the ability to have a greater positive effect in the lives of those I serve in the community. Thank you for your support. 

Veronica Hill, Metro Court, Div. 16: 

Over a decade ago, I decided to attend the University of New Mexico School of Law for one reason: to help my people. As a San Carlos Apache, Jicarilla Apache, and Laguna Pueblo Native American, I was taught to be of service to my communities. Albuquerque has always been another home and where I have lived throughout my life, and now where I have chosen to raise my family. Through my work in the legal community in Albuquerque, I have seen the need in our community to have leaders that look like them and understand the experiences of a minority person. That is why today, I ask that Central Committee Members allow me to continue to help our Bernalillo Communities by voting for me as their candidate for the Bernalillo Metropolitan Court Judge for Division 16.

I present myself to the committee as a candidate who has extensive judicial experience. I have served in as a judge or hearing officer for the last almost 4 years. I was a Judge with the Pueblo of Isleta, where I heard criminal, family, and children’s court cases. Before that, I was a Judge for the San Carlos Apache Tribe in Arizona, where I presided over criminal court cases. Currently, I am a Hearing Officer with the Second Judicial District Court in Albuquerque, which is across the street from Metro Court. In District Court, I am a judicial officer and able to act in a similar capacity to a Judge regarding domestic violence orders of protection and domestic relations matters. This steady and consistent experience of being a Judge or judicial officer, in both State and Tribal Court, has shown me the importance of a Judge that truly understands and cares for the community in which they work. While I am able to make the necessary and hard decisions that being on the bench requires, I care for the outcome of the community members over which I preside.

In addition to being a Judge, I was a state court prosecutor in Metro Court in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, where I handled domestic violence and DWI cases. In Albuquerque, I was also the prosecutor assigned to the Urban Native American Healing to Wellness Court, a recovery court that helped Native Americans address their substance abuse issues while satisfying the requirements of their criminal charges. This experience strengthened my belief that our Court system can hold people accountable while also assist them in addressing any underlying issues that cause them to enter our legal system. This is the way to true healing for both the individual and the community, and I will strive to achieve those parallel goals as a Metro Court Judge. My judicial experience has also prepared me for the day-to-day complexities of running a court, especially one in which complicated domestic and criminal matters are presented and often intertwined. I have first-hand knowledge of how criminal cases impact families. Metro Court handles domestic violence cases whose underlying issues and consequences can have significant impact a family, including precipitating a custody case or other family break up. Metro Court also handles DWI cases for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd offenses, which can carry serious jail time and often means the person has substance abuse issues. These collateral issues outside of simply whether a law was broken must be taken into account by a Judge who truly wishes to benefit the community. The Judge should be able to understand substance abuse and recovery, and how the outcome of a case and the treatment an offender receives impacts our communities and families. My role as a judge is to make sure treatment and accountability, individual and community, are balanced. I have done that as a Judge in other Courts and I will continue to do so as a Metro Court Judge.

Being a Judge is not easy, but it is a position I know I can handle because I have done it successfully for more than half my career. I have been trusted to do it by both State and Tribal Courts. My career has been, and no matter the outcome of this election, will be dedicated to helping our communities. For the reasons of my experience and my desire to serve, I am a strong choice to be our party’s candidate for the Bernalillo County Metro Court Judge position for Division 16.

Please also read these informative statements from Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s appointees.

Judge David A. Murphy, Second Judicial District Court, Div. 30:

I’m Judge David Murphy, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s appointee to the Bernalillo County Second Judicial District Court, Division 30, and I am asking for your support to place me on the ballot as the Democratic Party nominee to keep my seat.
I was appointed by Governor Lujan Grisham to this newly created seat earlier this month, after having been nominated and vetted by the Judicial Nominating Commission.

The New Mexico Legislature created this new judicial position in the 2022 Legislature, and since the position was not on the 2022 Primary Ballot, SCC members have the important and critical role of choosing the Democratic Party’s nominee to be on the 2022 General Election Ballot.

Prior to this appointment, I served as a Metropolitan Court Judge, and I met many of you in my last election. As a Judge, I’ve presided over the Community Veterans Court program, which provides critical mental health and substance abuse treatment to military veterans.  I also serve as a member of the Supreme Court’s Equity & Justice Commission, which is doing important and timely work. I’ve presided over thousands of cases, and through my time on the bench I have emphasized transparency and procedural fairness from the bench.

I want you to know that I’ve worked hard as a Judge, and I am bringing that same ethic with me to the District Court.

I grew up here in Albuquerque, and attended the University of New Mexico for both my Bachelor’s & Juris Doctor degrees. My legal career has been focused on public service. I began my career at the Public Defender’s Office, where I worked to diligently represent indigent clients. At the Attorney General’s Office, my focus was on investigating and prosecuting financial exploitation and physical abuse of the elderly. I’ve also worked as a prosecutor in the First & Second Judicial District Attorney’s Offices, where I concentrated on prosecuting white-collar crime and homicides. I bring that experience with me to the bench, where I work to make thoughtful, consistent and pragmatic decisions.
Outside of the courtroom, you can find me and my husband on a bike ride in the Bosque trails, walking our corgi Buster, or catching a roller derby bout. I love this city, and am happy to call New Mexico home. It is the honor of my career to be serving my fellow residents in this important role.

If you have any questions, or want to get to know me better before casting your vote, please do not hesitate to reach me at david@keepjudgemurphy.com. My courtroom doors are always open, even over Zoom, if you’d like to come observe. 

I thank you ahead of time for your support and for placing me on the ballot to represent the Democratic Party in this race, and to keep working hard for you. 

Judge Asra Elliot, Candidate for Metro Court, Div. 1:

I am Metropolitan Court Judge Asra I. Elliott, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s appointee to the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court. I was appointed to fill the vacancy resulting from the retirement of the Honorable Judge Victor E. Valdez.

Because this vacancy and appointment occurred after the Primary Election, the Bernalillo County Central Committee has the critical and important role of nominating the Democratic Candidate who will appear on the 2022 General Election Ballot.
I know you take this role seriously, and I ask for your vote so I can continue working for you on this busy and important court.

I am the daughter of Pakistani immigrants. My comfortable life and its abundance of choices stand in stark contrast to the lives of my parents and ancestors. Because of the privileges I have enjoyed by virtue of my place of birth, I feel a profound sense of duty to my community. Since I was a small child, I have known my life must be committed to public service. New Mexico and Bernalillo County are my home, and I can think of no higher use for my expertise and energy than serving my community by continuing to serve on the judiciary.

Having grown up in Kingman, Arizona, my roots in the Southwest are deep. While I enjoyed my years in Southern California during college and law school, I yearned to return to the high desert—a place where you will never get lost as long as you can see the mountains. I decided to move to New Mexico, my husband’s homeland, to start a new life and legal career in Albuquerque—where I had always dreamed of living but never thought I would be lucky enough to end up. Since moving here, I have been a devoted Downtowner. The heart of Albuquerque is where I have made my home, based my career, become a part of the community, and started my family.

My career in public service started, in large part, from an internship at the Office of Lt. Governor Diane Denish, soon after I moved to New Mexico. As a new law school graduate, I was honored by her trust in me to monitor legislative committee debates and to draft fiscal impact reports and important correspondence on her behalf. I was extraordinarily flattered when she recently told me, she trusted my work because she strived to surround herself with stars.

Since moving to Albuquerque and becoming a lawyer, I have practiced as a prosecutor, a public defender, and a staff attorney, first at the Court of Appeals and then at the Second Judicial District Court. Through my years of my practice, I have counseled and consoled both crime victims and defendants, recommended difficult resolutions where the law called for them, and developed a solid reputation as a fair, thoughtful, and able practitioner. I value my professional, community, and personal relationships and take care to sustain them because those ties are what make this place my home.

Outside of work, I have volunteered my time for the Center for Civic Values Gene Franchini NM High School Mock Trial Program, the Downtown Neighborhoods Association, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. I spend my free time honing my equestrian skills, reading, lifting weights, traveling in New Mexico and abroad, and my favorite pastime—spending time with my family.

I am honored and humbled to have been appointed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to serve on the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court. Since my appointment, I have been working hard to learn the job so I can best serve the residents of Bernalillo County with integrity and justice. I hope for the opportunity to continue to serve on the Metropolitan Court through the November election and beyond and would be grateful for the Bernalillo County Central Committee’s nomination as the Democratic Candidate for the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court, Division I.