ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Democratic voters will soon decide who will represent the party in the race to be New Mexico’s next Attorney General. Ahead of the vote, KRQE News 13 hosted a debate Monday between the two Democratic primary candidates: Raúl Torrez and Brian Colón.
Following the debate, KRQE Digital Anchor Chris McKee and Anchor Dean Staley recapped some of the most notable moments from the hour-long debate. Watch the video on this page for the full discussion.
Looking to watch the actual debate? Click this link to view a full video version of the entire debate on KRQE.com.
The top prosecuting office for the state, the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office oversees around 200 employees working on roughly 1,500 criminal and civil cases each year. The state’s attorney general, Hector Balderas (D) will step down from the position in 2023 due to a two-term limit.
Over the last decade, the AG’s Office has been the lead on criminal proceedings in several high-profile cases. Some cases include pending racketeering and fraud charges former state representative Sheryll Williams Stapleton; the prosecution of former state senator Phil Griego on bribery and fraud charges; and the prosecution of former New Mexico cabinet secretary Demesia Padilla on embezzlement charges.
Whoever wins the Democratic Primary is expected to face Republican challenger Jeremy Gay in the November 2022 General Election.
The current Bernalillo County District Attorney, Raul Torrez is currently in his second four-year term after winning an unopposed re-election in November 2020. He first took that position as the metro’s top prosecutor in 2017, replacing Kari Brandenberg.
Torrez has worked as an attorney for most of his career, including stints as a felony trial prosecutor with the 13th Judicial District Attorney’s Office (Sandoval, Valencia counties,) and an assistant attorney general with the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. Prior to his role in the Bernalillo County DA’s Office, Torrez was a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Mexico.
New Mexico’s current State Auditor, Brian Colón (D) has served in the position since January 2019, after winning his first term in November 2018. He first took the position as the state’s top watchdog in January 2019, replacing Wayne Johnson (R) who was appointed to fill the vacated role in December 2017.
A former chairman of the New Mexico Democratic Party, Colón spent 12 years from 2006 to 2018 working as an attorney for a New Mexico law firm. In roughly the last decade, Colón unsuccessfully ran for New Mexico’s lieutenant governor in November 2010, losing out to John Sanchez who ran alongside Susana Martinez. Colón also ran for Mayor of the City of Albuquerque in October 2017, losing out to the top two vote-earning candidates Dan Lewis and eventual Mayor Tim Keller.
A single Republican candidate, Jeremy Gay has made New Mexico’s June 2022 Republican primary ballot. In other words, Gay is running unopposed.