Meet the Candidates

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Barbara Romo

Barbara Romo

Age: 60

Occupation: Chief deputy district attorney, 13th Judicial District Attorney’s Office

Education: J.D. with honors, 1995, from University of Nebraska; MSM (Master’s of Science Management), 1992, from Troy State University; B.A. Journalism, with high honors, 1983, from University of Nebraska

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? “DUI, plead guilty March 2009.”

1. Why are you running to be the next district attorney?

“To continue my 24-year career fighting for justice for crime victims and keeping our community safe in a position where I can make the biggest impact on stopping the revolving door of crime. Continue building strong partnerships with other leaders with the common goal of community safety.”

2. Why are you the most qualified candidate for this position?

“Experience! Over 100 jury trials — specializing in child abuse and homicides. Army veteran-leadership, personnel management, budgets. Office management — ran two DA offices as deputy DA; seven offices as chief deputy. Life — married 33 years, raised two children. Experience and skills needed to run complex three county DA office.”

3. The current DA is mostly focused on administrative duties. Would you follow suit, or would you prosecute cases to help with the workload?

“Will hire qualified personnel for most of the administrative work, with appropriate oversight and supervision. However, I will continue to be a familiar face in the courtroom where I will stand side by side with my prosecutors and lead by example.”

4. If elected, how will you work better with local law enforcement and victim advocate agencies?

“I have established strong partnerships with local law enforcement and victim advocacy services and will continue to make a priority. Continue my regular meetings with the leadership of our partner agencies. Ensure active coordination and communication by and with my prosecutors and victim advocates.”

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Mandana Shoushtari

Mandana Shoushtari

Age: 42

Occupation: Senior trial attorney

Education: Juris Doctorate

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? “Never.”

1. Why are you running to be the next district attorney?

“I’m running for District Attorney as I believe that we need to do a better job of aiding the victims of crime. We have far too many repeat offenders in New Mexico. We need to protect our citizens yet find ways to reduce recidivism which includes more than incarceration. We have to strengthen our laws while doing right by our citizens and getting justice for the victims.”

2. Why are you the most qualified candidate for this position?

“Throughout my tenure as an attorney for the 13th Judicial District, I have achieved a high level of success while maintaining a very high caseload, averaging 150 to about 300 cases. Working my way up in a relatively short period of time to senior trial attorney in the 13th, I have a firm grasp on what is needed to successfully and efficiently prosecute a case.”

3. The current DA is mostly focused on administrative duties. Would you follow suit, or would you prosecute cases to help with the workload?

“While administrative duties are part of the job, I will continue to prosecute cases and personally provide assistance to each of our three offices within the district. I will also focus my attention on providing training for new attorneys, staff and members of law enforcement while working hard on new legislation to strengthen our laws.”

4. If elected, how will you work better with local law enforcement and victim advocate agencies?

“Communication is the key. As the District Attorney’s office, we need to expand on our collaboration with both groups. Each group plays a vital role in successful prosecution of our cases. We have to become partners, one cohesive unit rather than compartmentalizing our job with respect to our own individual agency.”

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Joshua Joe Jimenez

Joshua Joe Jimenez

Age: 37

Occupation: Attorney, partner at Payne and Jimenez

Education: Rio Grande High School graduate, Albuquerque; University of New Mexico attendee; Brigham Young University graduate in 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. Why are you running to be the next district attorney?

“I am deeply committed to improving the criminal justice system in New Mexico. As a father of three young children and as a native New Mexican, I care deeply about our community and the security of all its citizens.”

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2. Why are you the most qualified candidate for this position?

“I have the better plan to strengthen the New Mexico criminal justice system. During my nine-plus years experience prosecuting all degrees of crime, as a supervisor in two DA’s offices, and as managing partner in a private law firm, I have learned there is a better way to fight crime.”

3. The current DA is mostly focused on administrative duties. Would you follow suit, or would you prosecute cases to help with the workload?

“At heart, I am a trial attorney and I will maintain that focus as the district attorney. While I am a trial attorney, I firmly believe that better prosecutions will lead to safer communities. I will bring more progressive systems and procedures to the office to improve investigations and prosecutions.”

4. If elected, how will you work better with local law enforcement and victim advocate agencies?

“This DA’s office must modernize evidence collection to decrease case dismissals. Updated technology is not being used to protect children or to identify predators and violent offenders; this must change immediately. I will work with victim advocate and law enforcement agencies to identify and prosecute predators and violent career criminals.”

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