BERNALILLO COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) — Former U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez announced he will be running for Bernalillo County District Attorney.

The position is currently held by Sam Bregman, who Martinez will compete against as a Democrat.

Martinez was the U.S. Attorney for New Mexico from 2014 to 2017 and ran for Congress in 2018. He has been working in private practice since stepping down as U.S. Attorney in 2017.

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Martinez said he would make criminals more accountable for the crimes they do commit, rather than pleading down.

Bregman was appointed to District Attorney when Raúl Torrez became attorney general and has since said he wants to retain the seat.

Bregman released a statement about the announcement:

I welcome both Matthias Swonger and Damon Martinez to the race for District Attorney. Since being appointed in early January of this year, I am proud of what we have accomplished. We have seen our conviction and pre-trial detention rates increase to levels we haven’t seen in years. We have identified and convicted numerous cold-case sexual assault perpetrators. We have implemented new policies to go after habitual shoplifters. And we have hired 40 new prosecutors which has led to our increased success. Being District Attorney of the largest county in New Mexico is not a job to be taken lightly. I have worked tirelessly over the past 10 months – even spending time in the courtroom myself – to ensure that our office has everything it needs to put violent criminals behind bars and make our community safer. I look forward to discussing the issues in this race with Mr. Swonger and Mr. Martinez.

DA Sam Bregman