Court of Appeals
SFR Pick: Robert Robles, Democrat, votejudgerobles.com
SFR supports the re-election of Robles, who is required by law to stand for one partisan election following his appointment by Gov. Richardson in 2008. He faces Republican Ned Fuller on the ballot.
Two other Court of Appeals judges are unopposed on the ballot: Democrats Linda Vanzi and Tim Garcia
1st Judicial District: The judges on the ballot for the 1st Judicial District (which includes Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Los Alamos counties) are unopposed, following contested Democratic primaries in June. They are: Sarah Singleton, Sheri Raphaelson, T Glenn Ellington and Mary Marlowe.
Magistrate Court: Santa Fe County’s Magistrate Court judges also are unopposed and, also, are all Democrats: David Segura, George Anaya, Richard “Buzzy” Padilla and Sandra “Sandy” Miera.
Non-Partisan Judicial Races
In a very small nutshell, judges on the District Court, Court of Appeals and Supreme Court are required to run in one partisan election. Thereafter, they must run for retention, and receive at least a 57 percent voter approval to remain on the bench.
In making our recommendations, SFR relies heavily on the evaluations provided by the New Mexico Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission (nmjpec.org). JPEC surveys other judges, court staff and lawyers to evaluate, in a variety of areas—ranging from integrity to knowledge to timeliness—the judges who are up for retention.
Charles Daniels: Yes
Daniels was previously retained to the Supreme Court in ’08 and became chief justice in 2010. He received high ratings in all areas, although slightly lower ratings from the appellate court judges on his timeliness of rulings and handling of workload.
Petra Maes: Yes
Maes has served on the Supreme Court since 1998, following a 17-year stint in the 1st Judicial District. SFR’s yes is a bit qualified, as Maes’ ratings in the areas of knowledge of the law and legal reasoning are mixed. However, if Maes is not retained, the next governor will replace her on the Supreme Court, and we’d just as soon postpone that possibility until we see who the next governor is going to be.
Court of Appeals
Michael Bustamante: Yes
Bustamante has served on the Court of Appeals since 1994. He received positive evaluations from all the groups surveyed, in all the areas that were rated.
Celia Foy Castillo: Yes
Castillo was elected to the bench in 2000, and received good marks in all the areas of evaluation from lawyers, staff and appellate judges.