A bipartisan group of eight New Mexico district attorneys is challenging the constitutionality of a new law that changes the date of the next election for DAs.
The prosecutors want the state Supreme Court to strike a section of the statute — passed by the Legislature this year and signed into law by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham — that shifts district attorney elections from presidential election years to elections when the governor is on the ballot. This means the next election for the office wouldn’t take place until 2022, nearly two years after district attorneys’ current terms are scheduled to end — Dec. 31, 2020.
A news release from District Attorney John Suggs, whose district includes Otero and Lincoln counties, said he and the others contend the change “violates the New Mexico Constitution’s requirement that district attorneys serve four-year terms of office.”
The suit also asks the court to direct Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver to include the office of district attorney on the 2020 primary and general election proclamation.
Other DAs signing the petition are Donald Gallegos (Taos, Colfax and Union counties); Dianna Luce (Lea, Eddy and Chaves counties; Francesca Martinez-Estevez (Grant, Luna and Hidalgo counties); Clint Wellborn (Socorro, Sierra, Torrance and Catron counties); Andrea Reeb (Curry and Roosevelt counties); Paula Pakkala (McKinley County); and Lemuel Martinez (Cibola, Sandoval, and Valencia counties).
Santa Fe’s district attorney, Marco Serna, elected in 2016, is running for an open congressional seat in 2020.