Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Replacement named to judge committee

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A judge in the Second Judicial District will represent the Tenth Judicial District on the commission charged with nominating a successor for Judge Albert Mitchell.

Mitchell was unseated by voters on Nov. 4.

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara Vigil appointed Denise Barela-Shepherd on Thursday.

Mitchell, who was the Tenth District’s representative, asked that he be removed since he plans to apply to keep his position as judge.

The state constitution requires a judge from the district in which an unseated judge is located must sit on the nominating commission. Mitchell, however, is the only judge in the Tenth District.

Mitchell was ousted from the bench in the Nov. 4 general election. He needed support from 57 percent of the voters to keep his seat, but received less than 50 percent.

Mitchell said nothing legally prohibits him from applying to keep his job, however.

The commission will hold its first public session to evaluate candidates at 10 a.m. Dec. 11 in the Quay County Courthouse in Tucumcari.

After that first meeting, applicants selected will face public interview sessions. The nominating commission will then make final recommendations to Gov. Martinez, who makes the appointment.

The Tenth District includes De Baca County.