As a retired member of law enforcement, I can acknowledge there are profound issues affecting the First Judicial District that prevent successful crime reduction in this community.

Mary Carmack-Altwies is not blind to these issues and is the type of person willing to interject herself into the District Attorney’s Office in order to have a more holistic view of the problems. It is presumptuous of The New Mexican to support another candidate and assume she is complicit in the matters that plague the DA’s Office. I view Mary Carmack-Altwies’ change leadership strategy for the First Judicial District as thoughtful, strategic and respectful as a subordinate. It will allow her to make necessary and informed decisions when she is the district attorney.

Once elected, Mary will have a game plan to put in force. She has herself provided justice through solid defense when she was a public defender and criminal defense attorney and prosecuted cases in this district to get closure for victims so badly needing it. Mary has mentored inexperienced attorneys, prosecuted offenders who perpetrate families, focused on gun-related crimes and diverted opiate addicts.

Her opponent, Scott Fuqua, talks a big game on diversion but the only thing he’s diverted from is actually working in the criminal justice system. His need to tout his consumer law experience and debate team participation is a little beneath the bar of what this community deserves. The New Mexican shouldn’t have endorsed Fuqua’s inadequate communication with the stakeholders needed to successfully prosecute dangerous criminals and divert the appropriate low-level offenders, and neither should the voting public.

Mary Carmack-Altwies has received support and input from so many stakeholders: law enforcement, advocates, criminal defense attorneys, other prosecutors, Congresswoman Deb Haaland, Attorney General Hector Balderas, and multiple current and past government leaders from the area. Not only do I know a good leader when I see one, but so do they.

I get that current District Attorney Marco Serna and his lackluster performance has been an easy target. A reboot should come but only from Mary Carmack-Altwies. Get your absentee ballot, or wear your mask during early voting, and please vote Mary Carmack-Altwies for district attorney.

Michele Williams is a resident of Santa Fe and retired lieutenant with the Santa Fe Police Department.

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