Application deadline for district attorney position extended

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The state is still working to fill one of the most important positions in the metro – Bernalillo County district attorney.

With Raúl Torrez preparing to take over as attorney general on Jan. 1 we still don’t know who will replace him.

“I just hope that the new DA, whoever that may be, whether it’s a he or a she, that they’re really willing and wanting to help the victims,” said Sally Sanchez with the New Mexico Crusaders for Justice. 

The governor’s office is giving folks who want a shot at filling it some extra time to apply before Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham appoints the DA’s replacement.

But with the deadline pushed out to Christmas Eve, many worry there won’t be enough time for a new DA to catch up before the legislative session begins next month.

A spokesperson with the governor’s office told us Wednesday:

“Given that the previous deadline was immediately following the Thanksgiving holiday, we want to be sure that any interested applicant has sufficient time to compile and complete an application.”

“It just really upsets me that the governor knowing that Raúl Torrez, you know, won this election, that we don’t have somebody in place so that they are up to speed,” said Sally Sanchez with New Mexico Crusader for Justice.  

Sanchez worries how families who have lost loved ones to violence will be impacted by the potential delay. 

“There’s a lot of families that are still waiting for movement in their cases, to get some sort of justice for their loved one,” said Sanchez. 

With the legislative session only a month away, Sanchez doesn’t believe the new DA will have enough time to sit down with victims’ families and ask what changes they want to see. 

“​​I felt that Raúl was working with me,” said Sanchez. “He was fighting for, for the victims, and trying to get more for us and criminals to have stiffer penalties. So I’m hoping that the new DA that is coming in is willing to meet with us, to work with us, and get some of these cases going.” 

Sanchez says she’s been waiting two years for justice in her son’s case. She hopes the new deadline to fill the DA position doesn’t make that wait even longer. 

“It’s very bothersome,” Sanchez said. 

On Wednesday morning, the Republican Party of New Mexico responded to the delayed appointment saying in part:

“This is particularly disturbing–not only because there are at least ten qualified candidates who have submitted names to replace outgoing Raul Torrez—but skyrocketing crime continues in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County.”

Applications will be received to Dec. 23. For more information on qualifications, click here.