Meet the Candidates

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Barbara Romo

Barbara Romo

Age: 61

Occupation: Chief Deputy District Attorney, 13th Judicial District Attorney’s Office

Education: J.D. (with honors) from University of Nebraska Law School 1995; Master of Science in Management from Troy State University 1990; B.A. in Journalism (with honors) from the University of Nebraska 1983.

Previous elected political offices: None

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or felony in New Mexico or another state? “DWI January 2009. Had reached a burnout point in my career from stress of balancing career and family obligations. This taught me how to be a better mother, wife and mentor for new attorneys. Now serve on NM Walk Like MADD Committee.”

1. Describe the qualifications and experiences that make you the best candidate for the prosecutor’s office.

“Army veteran and career prosecutor with 24 years prosecution and victims’ rights experience. Leadership and supervisory experience from the Army and three different district attorney offices in personnel, administrative and budget management. Established relationships with partner agencies, other district attorneys and legislators. Proven record of success and excellence.”

2. What programs and policies would you implement as district attorney to reduce crime and increase public safety in the district?

“No tolerance for violent offenders — especially repeat offenders — and those who prey on the vulnerable — children, seniors, and the disabled. Expansion of diversion programs and specialty courts for first-time, non-violent and addicted offenders to assist those wishing to return to productive community members.”

3. In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing the DA’s office, and how do you plan to address it?

“Personnel turnover. Will fight in the Legislature for higher salaries to make a career in the DA’s office an attractive option. Implementation of quality of life incentives and encouragement of community involvement. Vigorous recruitment and retention program to make the 13th the premier prosecution office in the state.”

4. How many cases have you tried in court and were you serving as a prosecutor or defense attorney?

“Well over 100 jury trials and dozens more bench trials (before a judge) as prosecutor. The vast majority were serious violent felonies — child abuse, sexual assault and homicides. Tried several high-profile cases, such as Andrew Romero, who was convicted of first-degree murder of RRPD Officer Gregg Benner.”

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Joshua Joe Jimenez

Joshua Joe Jimenez

Age: 38

Occupation: Managing partner at Payne and Jimenez, P.C., Law Firm

Education: Rio Grande High School graduate, Albuquerque; University of New Mexico attendee; Brigham Young University graduate Bachelor of Science; University of Idaho graduate Juris Doctor

Previous elected political offices: None

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony in New Mexico or in another state? “There is no record, but as a teenager I was present when a peer took a backpack from and damaged a vehicle. There is no excuse for my presence nor complicity. No charges were filed, but this mistake haunts me. I thank God my life’s direction was turned.”

1. Describe the qualifications and experiences that make you the best candidate for the prosecutor’s office.

“I am honest, dedicated and focused on improving the criminal justice system. During my 10 years of experience as a prosecutor and private attorney, I have seen cases dismissed and the system fail too many victims. I pledge to reduce those failures. I am ready for a change, are you?”

2. What programs and policies would you implement as district attorney to reduce crime and increase public safety in the district?

“We must be more aggressive at filing motions to detain violent and repeat offenders. Habitual criminals are wreaking havoc on businesses and communities. I plan to implement new systems that identify criminal organizations, children at risk for serious physical harm, and an expanded program to focus on drug addiction.”

3. In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing the DA’s office, and how do you plan to address it?

“Our goal must be to make our community the safest in the nation. We must process cases quicker because justice delayed is justice denied. We need to implement systems to better identify and protect children at risk. We also must assist in coordinating crime intervention between communities and law enforcement.”

4. How many cases have you tried in court, and were you serving as a prosecutor or defense attorney?

“In my nine years as a prosecutor, I handled upwards of 200 cases at any given time. I successfully obtained guilty verdicts on numerous jury and non-jury trials for all degrees of crime. As a defense and plaintiff’s attorney, I have represented businesses, land owners, criminal defendants and families.”

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