Job Description: New Mexico's chief legal representative. Writes advisory letters and opinions. Prosecutes and defends cases in upper-level state courts.
Term: Four years
Up until recent weeks, the Attorney General's race was one of the few New Mexico races in which both candidates maintained some modicum of civility. Democratic candidate Gary King and Republican candidate Jim Bibb stuck to touting their impressive records along with what they plan to focus on if they're elected. It was a nice break from the blood-splattered finger-pointing of other campaigns.
In the last couple weeks, however, Bibb, who is trailing behind in the polls, decided to go negative in a big way. TV ads accused King of missing crucial votes when he was a state legislator. These ads were designed to be extremely alarming; the votes were on legislation banning child pornography and increasing sentences for sex offenders. Whew! Scary! King responded by saying that he missed some votes following a serious car accident in which he was hospitalized for three weeks. As usual, the attacks simply serve to distract voters from the real issues in the race.
King comes from a famous family of public servants. (His dad, Bruce, was governor.) He's been practicing law in the state for more than two decades. He served as city attorney and prosecutor for Moriarty. He also served as an assistant secretary at the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C., for two years and as a New Mexico state representative for 12 years. He's got a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Colorado University and a law degree from UNM. If elected, he says he'll focus on cracking down on ID theft, domestic violence and DWI. He will also emphasize environmental clean-up, regulating payday loan operations and using the power of the AG's office to prevent crimes against the elderly.
Bibb comes from a family with a heavy background in law enforcement. He's worked for the FBI on the Violent Crimes Task Force, and he also served in Afghanistan with the Army National Guard. He's been an assistant U.S. attorney and assistant district attorney in New Mexico. His focus and passion is on fighting public corruption, which is obviously a much-needed thing in our corruption-riddled state. He also wants to create a Controlled Substances Enforcement Division in the AG's office to crack down on drug trafficking.
They're both good candidates, but King has the edge in terms of experience and the breadth of issues he is capable of addressing. He gets our endorsement.