ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – KRQE News 13 held a debate Monday night between the two Democratic candidates for attorney general. State Auditor Brian Colon and Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez sparred over top issues including crime and mental illness while attacking each other’s records.
Candidates explained the first thing they’ll do to tackle New Mexico’s violent crime problem.
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“We are actually building the first data platform that will enable both prosecutors, police officers, and crime analysts to see crime unfolding in real-time,” Torrez said.
“You got to bring back the multidisciplinary agencies, stakeholders and engage them in conversations,” Colon said.
The jabs started early. “What my opponent has is a failed track record of prosecution, a lifelong career as a prosecutor yet at the end of the day, the number are abysmal,” Colon said.
“In the time that he has run for mayor, the time he’s run for auditor, now attorney general, my office has a received over a hundred thousand referrals. I’m sure he’s going to the opportunity to second guess a great many things. The fact of the matter is, he doesn’t have the experience when it comes to public safety,” Torrez said.
It got very heated when discussing one of Colon’s recent attack ads. It features the murder of UNM baseball player Jackson Weller. Weller’s family has asked COlon to take down the ad.
“Shame on you, shame on you for misusing the image of a dead boy to advance your political agenda,” Torrez said.
“Shame on you for allowing that to happen. your failed prosecution allowed that to happen,” Colon said.
Colon argues Torrez failed to put away Weller’s killer years before. “I’ve taken responsibility for my failures. I’ve stood in front of the community and I’ve asked them to hold me accountable and I’m asking you to account,” Colon said.
“I’m asking you to do the right thing and not dishonor this family and run them over the coals and retraumatize them,” Torrez said.
“-And I know your polling shows that this is a good story,” Colon said.
“Excuse me,” Torrez said.
Early voting for the primary election kicks off Tuesday. “I’ve got a 20-year broad-based career in the law. I’ve got a lifetime of relationships because I’ve fought for families. I’ve fought for New Mexicans,” Colon said.
“This is a consequential election, this is a serious time. in the life of this country. We need people who are serious. We need people who have substance and experience,” Torrez said.