Job Description: New Mexico’s chief legal representative. Writes advisory letters and opinions. Prosecutes and defends court cases, usually in upper-level state appellate courts.
Term: Four years, limited to two consecutive terms
Both candidates are New Mexico small-town boys at heart. Democratic incumbent Gary King is from the Moriarty/Stanley area. Republican Matt Chandler is from Clovis. The Alibi endorses King, who has an edge in experience, education and knowledge about the breadth of issues the state faces.
King hails from a famous family of public servants. His dad, Bruce, was governor three times. His mother, uncles, cousins and other family members have taken their turns in state politics, all while running a huge farming and ranching operation. Gary King has worked locally and nationally, serving as Moriarty city attorney and later as an assistant secretary at the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. He was representative in the state Legislature for 12 years.
[Chandler] is promising to spend a lot of time and money on politically motivated litigation. New Mexico cannot afford that sort of leadership.
What you may not know is that he’s also got a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Colorado University, and he’s long worked in environmental law. He demonstrates an understanding of the complex water and land issues New Mexico faces, including how to balance state and tribal needs.
King has been busy the last four years as attorney general. Under his direction, his office established a bureau to bust child pornographers online, and it’s staffed by several internationally trained computer techs. They’ve made a number of nationwide arrests of child porn distributors. He has also stepped up efforts to combat Internet scams targeting the elderly.
Another innovative program King initiated involves training attorneys in Mexico to prosecute drug cartel members in the country’s changing judicial system. Sharing tactics across borders to jail violent crime lords protects our border state.
Republican challenger Matthew Chandler’s dad is a retired Clovis police chief who served 12 years in the state Senate as a Democrat. Matthew Chandler attended the University of Tulsa law school, and spent time at the Albuquerque firm Guebert, Bruckner and Bootes. In 2004, at the age of 27, he was elected the Ninth Judicial district attorney, becoming one of the youngest people to hold the position. But Chandler repeats standard-issue Republican phrases, and he’s criticized King’s efforts in Mexico as a waste of resources.
He says, if elected, he will join other states and spend New Mexico tax dollars to sue the federal government to repeal the health care act. Rather than dealing with the next four years and our real problems, he is promising to spend a lot of time and money on politically motivated litigation. New Mexico cannot afford that sort of leadership.
The Alibi endorses King.