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Saturday, August 18, 2012

NM State Supreme Court Candidates at Bernalillo Co Dem Forum - Part 1

On Thursday August 16, 2012, the Bernalillo County Democratic Party hosted a candidate forum for the 5 individuals vying to be the democratic nominee for the newest New Mexico Supreme Court Justice.

In mid June 2012 Supreme Court Justice Patricio Serna announced he is retiring from the state's highest court after serving 16 years. There are currently five Justices serving on the NM Supreme Court. The existing court is comprised of one woman and 4 men. Both political parties have until Sept. 11 to nominate a candidate to be on the November 6 election ballot.

It is the Democratic State Central Committee consisting of slightly over 400 members who will be deciding on who will be on the ballot in November. The democratic candidates to replace Justice Serna are all superb.

Following are abbreviated synopsis of the 5 candidates. Listen to the videos for detailed information.

  • Michelle Hernandez is an attorney and worked as a judicial law clerk for the Supreme Court. Michelle currently practices law and is a shareholder at the Modrell Sperling Law firm read her bio here.
  • John Kelly is a former US Attorney during Clinton administration. John has a diverse legal background, he also practices law and is a shareholder at the Modrell Sperling Law firm read his bio here.
  • Victor Lopez is currently a Workers Compensation Administration Judge. Victor has 28yrs experience in law and you can read more about him here.
  • Cate Stetson has her own practice , she pracitices all types of law to help the underclass. She has been very active in the democratic party for years and in a number of ways.
  • Judge Barbara Vigil is currently Chief Judge of New Mexico’s First Judicial District Court. Judge Vigil first became a judge in 2000 and was retained in 2008.

At the forum there were five questions asked as well as an opening and closing statement. Below is part 1 of the coverage - including opening statements and questions 1 and 2.

Opening Statements each 2 min: 

Intro Michelle Hernandez below:

Intro John Kelly Below: 

Intro Victor Lopez below:

Intro Cate Stetson below:

Intro Judge Barbara Vigil below:

Question 1:  Do you believe that the Judicial nominating process is a good way for selecting judges? If so why and why not?

Q1 Michelle Hernandez below:

Q1 John Kelly below:

Q1 Victor Lopez below:

Q1 Cate Stetson below:

Q1 Judge Barbara Vigil below:

Question 2: What limits do you believe exist on the power of the judiciary and on the NM Supreme court justices?

Q2 Judge Vigil below:

Q2 Cate Stetson below:

Q2 Victor Lopez below:

Q2 John Kelly below:

Q2 Michelle Hernandez below:


August 18, 2012 at 07:27 PM in 2012 Judicial Races, Candidates & Races, Democrat | Permalink