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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

New Mexico's Judge Judy Could Be Fave For High Court Appointment, Plus: Drilling Down On The Latest Biz News, And: It's Aggie Ball 

Judge Nakamura
ABQ District Court Judge Judy Nakamura, an avid hot air balloon pilot, is now seeing how high she can make her legal career rise.

The ABQ district court judge is among the finalists to replace retiring Dem Supreme Court Justice Dick Bosson. She has to be at or near the top of the list to win the appointment from Governor Martinez since the Guv appointed Nakumara, 54, to a district judgeship in 2013 which she then won in a partisan contest in 2014.  Insiders are also pegging Nakamura as the smartest political choice if the Republicans hope to put one of their own on the high court who they might be able to keep there.

As a female Republican with a proven base in the state's largest county she is seen as having a decent shot. Of course, her long record would also make her vulnerable to attack. 

The winner of the Supreme appointment will have to face voters at the 2016 general election and since it is a rarity for a Republican to win a state Supreme Court seat, Nakamura's winning record in big Bernalillo County is all the more appealing to the R's. She was elected to the ABQ metro court in 1998 and held on to the post until her district judge appointment in 2013 before she won election to a full term against a Democrat in 2014. Her colleagues elected her chief metro court judge an unprecedented four times.

Nakamura has made her mark in the legal arena and rumors that she might seek the GOP nomination for Bernalillo County District Attorney don't see to have much legs. But a high court appointment with a better than a long shot chance at keeping it for her own is another matter.

Three other judges have been sent to the Governor by the judicial nominating commission for her to choose from. They are Republican Gary Clingman, 64, a Hobbs Republican district judge and Democratic judges Linda Vanzi and Michael E. Vigil, 64, an ABQ Dem who serves on the Court Of Appeals.

DRILLING DOWN

Reader Norm Gagne goes deep inside the latest biz news and comes with the angles you will only get here:

Joe, the ABQ Journal Business Outlook published its annual list of the top 100 private companies based on 2014 revenue. While the story rightly celebrates the success of some fine New Mexico businesses, the data is a revealing glimpse at the New Mexico economy. While some of the companies do business all over the country, indeed, all over the world, the top 100 employ in total only 9,105 employees in New Mexico, an average of 91 employees per company. Only one company employs more than 1,000. I recently read that the average Fortune 500 company employees over 50,000. The top company, Walmart, employs over 45,000 in its home state of Arkansas.

The same edition  carried the regional employment growth for nine states comparing August 2015 to August 2014. New Mexico had 0.4% growth second to the bottom state Oklahoma (0.1%). Region leading Utah enjoyed 4.0% employment growth.

The success of the New Mexico Top 100 is laudable but the numbers are stark evidence of the steep hill to be climbed to build the New Mexico economy and to stem the exodus of residents.

Thanks, Norm. Another reason our readers rely on us for "real deal" biz coverage.

AGGIE BALL

On that report we carried from ESPN about NMSU dropping its forlorn football program, we get this from loyal Aggie David Oakley:

Some Aggie friends of mine think you’re picking on NMSU football since you went to  UNM. I told them that I didn’t think that was the case. In regards to your story, a couple of points:

1. NMSU will drop football when UNM does.

2. “Larry Lasso” is not the official logo. That icon was ditched several years ago with the return of Pistol Pete’s pistols after alumni (including me) complained that they didn’t care if the guns were politically incorrect.

We posted the correct official Aggie logo with your comments, David, and we aren't even going to give the Lobos equal time.

LOW TURNOUT

Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver comes with this on the extremely low voter turnout in the this month's ABQ city election:

The ABQ Journal published a column I wrote in response to the low turnout we saw in the 2014 elections and the recent Albuquerque City Election. As County Clerk, I’ve been committed to ensuring that voters are informed about elections and have an easy and accessible way to participate in the process. With participation near an all-time low, I believe we must take further action.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2014. Not for reproduction without permission of the author
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