Down at the 1st Judicial District Courthouse in Santa Fe,

has begun interviewing the 17 candidates for the job. One Republican commissioner, Frank Bond, is absent.

Only one person showed up early to offer public comment

. Santa Fe attorney Sylvia LaMar came to support one candidate, Mary Marlowe Sommer, the court's child support hearing officer, whom LaMar said has shown a critical ability to manage her courtroom—of particular concern in the domestic-type cases the new judge will be expected to handle.

LaMar says the domestic docket caseload is increasing, and with it the number of parties representing themselves (that is, going

pro se

). These people "have no idea what they're doing. They file ridiculous motions that have to be heard," LaMar says. "

Unless we have someone who is able to manage the docket, we're going to have a disaster

."

Read SFR's summary of the candidates' applications

. If you want to pop in for an interview, here's the day's schedule (click the picture for a larger image).