ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Weeks before Attorney General-elect Raul Torrez (D) is expected to take over as the top elected prosecutor in New Mexico, the Governor’s Office is now trying to figure out who should replace him in Bernalillo County. The state has launched a formal application process for the soon-to-be vacated position of Second Judicial District Attorney.

Torrez is in the middle of his second term as Bernalillo County’s chief prosecutors, with two years left on his four year term. Voters first elected him to the position in 2016, then again in 2020.

The role is among one of the most high-profile in criminal justice in New Mexico. The Bernalillo County District Attorney is responsible for prosecuting nearly all criminal cases in Albuquerque, New Mexico’s largest city.

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) is tasked with appointing a replacement Bernalillo County District Attorney, who will fill the position through 2024. The Governor’s Office has posted an application for the position online, which can be accessed at this link. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. on December 2, 2022, according to the Governor’s Office.

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The chief prosecutorial job has minimum requirements. Candidates must have a Juris Doctorate degree from an accredited school of law and seven years of experience in the practice of law. The state also requires candidates to be a resident of New Mexico for three years prior to their appointment (or election to the position) and a resident of the district.

Torrez defeated Republican challenger Jeremy Gay in the general election, winning by 10 points or more than 74-thousand votes. Torrez is expected to be sworn in to the AG position in January 2023, replacing Democrat Hector Balderas. Balderas reached the limit of serving two terms as New Mexico’s AG.