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District Attorney 1st Judicial District

New Mexico District Courts handle civil suits involving real estate or claims over $10,000, juvenile cases, divorce and child custody, criminal felony cases, and appeals from lower courts. The 1st Judicial District of New Mexico includes Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, and Santa Fe Counties. District Attorneys serve a four-year term.Fiscal del Primer Distrito JudicialManeja las demandas civiles que tienen que ver con bienes raíces, con reclamos superiores a los $10,000; así como los casos con menores de edad, los divorcios y decide sobre la custodia de los hijos, así como los casos de delitos graves y las apelaciones provenientes de tribunales menores. El Primer Distrito Judicial de Nuevo México incluye los condados de Los Álamos, Río Arriba y Santa Fe. El fiscal de distrito es elegido cada cuatro años.

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  • Candidate picture

    Mary Virginia Carmack-Altwies
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Marco Peter Serna
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

1. What are your qualifications for this position?

2. What are your highest priorities for this office?

3. How do you intend to accomplish them?

4. What, if any, alternatives to incarceration do you support for nonviolent crimes?

Campaign Mailing Address Confidential
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Campaign Phone 5058193630
Occupation District Attorney, First Judicial District
I have had the honor of serving as New Mexico’s First Judicial District Attorney since January 2021. With expertise in criminal law, I have seen both sides of the courtroom, working as a public defender and running my own practice. As DA, I carry a caseload and have prosecuted all kinds of cases. Since I took office, we have: *Won over 95% of our homicide and violent crime prosecutions, including cases against child abusers, sex offenders, and rapists. *Increased our DWI conviction rate to over 85%. When I took office, the DA’s office had a DWI conviction rate of under 40%. *Cleared years-old backlogs in rape kit prosecutions, police-involved shootings, and homicides. I am a graduate of University of New Mexico School of Law.
We have turned around the District Attorney’s office in three years time, and I want to expand on the work we have started and develop new programs and processes to keep our community safe.We especially need to increase prosecution and sentencing for gun crimes and address mental health challenges. We’ve had such incredible success winning cases with our complex crime unit that we’re expanding it to include a greater number of crimes. To combat crime at its root, we’re starting a juvenile justice project that will give wraparound services to juveniles to keep them out of our criminal justice system as adults. True to my campaign promise in 2020, we’ve also expanded diversion programs and plan to continue their expansion and effectiveness.
We’ve cleaned up outdated systems and implemented modernized, effective systems that will enable us to accomplish the work we set out to do. I intend to continue to implement the most effective systems to ensure our work is impactful. I’m working to implement systems that also will allow us to integrate with our law enforcement and community partners. We need to fight violent crime by getting guns out of the hands of criminals and supporting common sense gun violence prevention. We must work with the legislature to secure more funding for mental health and substance abuse treatment. I am working to secure more funding to ensure we are paying attorneys and staff competitively to recruit and retain the best and brightest in the field.
First, to be clear: violent crimes must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law to keep violent criminals off the streets. Non-violent crimes are often symptoms of societal issues like poverty, homelessness, behavioral health, and substance use. After I took office, we expanded diversion programs to pre-trial, pre-sentencing, and post-sentencing diversion and expanded our diversion partners. We will continue to pursue new partners for diversion and work to ensure diversion is used in all cases where it will be beneficial. As stated above, we need to work with the Legislature to secure more treatment for mental health and substance abuse. Treatment is not possible if no beds are available.
Campaign Mailing Address P.O. BOX 1445
Santa fe, NM 87504
Campaign Email marcoserna4da@gmail.com
Campaign Phone 505-310-1883
Campaign Website http://marcoforda.com
Occupation Attorney
Career prosecutor for 14 years. I practiced as Assistant District Attorney and Deputy District Attorney in Valencia and Sandoval Counties, Assistant Attorney General under the King and Balderas administrations, and Chief Deputy District Attorney in Taos County, where I was instrumental in establishing the domestic violence family court. I am the former First Judicial District Attorney, serving from 2017-2021. Most recently, I was the special counsel and acting director for the Administrative Office of District Attorneys for the State of New Mexico. I specialize in domestic violence prosecution and have prosecuted everything from a DWI misdemeanor to capital murder cases. I have the experience and passion needed to lead the DA's office.
ACCOUNTABILITY - we need to maintain the integrity of the office, starting with addressing the over 400 DWI case backlog. This is a crucial public safety issue that needs to be prioritized and fixed. TRANSPARENCY - the public has a right to know how we as public servants perform and I will ensure an open door to my office. MANAGEMENT - with a limited budget, the DA's office must manage its resources wisely and trust in its prosecutors to perform at a high level, regardless of who the defendant may be. TEAMWORK - we cannot provide criminal justice without working together with our law enforcement officers. Rather than playing the blame game, we need to rebuild trust and create a team that works together.
ACCOUNTABILITY - I will appoint a team of prosecutors/investigators to prioritize eliminating the backlog of DWI cases. TRANSPARENCY - cases like the obelisk, which greatly impact our community, will not be shrouded under a veil of secrecy and any public concern, good, bad, or indifferent, will be publicly discussed by myself personally. MANAGEMENT - I will not outsource high profile cases to special prosecutors and private PR firms at the expense of the taxpayer, but instead will trust in my office and my team. TEAMWORK - I will ensure liaisons between my office and law enforcement will work as a team to constructively solve any issues that may arise.
First and foremost, let's address addiction and mental health, and how they correlate specifically with property crimes, which has been running rampant in our communities. In order to do so, we must lobby for resources that will rebuild the mental health infrastructure in the state. In addition, we need to focus on diversionary courts that keep people out of jail and working and incentivizes them to be productive members of society. Lastly, we need to establish legitimate reentry programs from prison to reduce recidivism.