COURT OF APPEALS SIDES WITH DOÑA ANA COUNTY CLERK

COURT OF APPEALS SIDES WITH DOÑA ANA COUNTY CLERK

Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins’ decision to bar a magistrate judge candidate from the June Primary ballot was upheld July 5 by the New Mexico Court of Appeals.

The court agreed with a Third Judicial District Court ruling issued by Judge James T. Martin, who agreed with Ellins in the initial lawsuit.

Ellins’ decision to bar Paul Martinez from the ballot was based on a New Mexico law that requires magistrate judge candidates in counties with populations exceeding 200,000 to be licensed attorneys in the State of New Mexico. Martinez was not a licensed attorney at the time he filed to run.

“Obviously, I agree with this outcome,” Ellins said. “As county clerk, it’s my responsibility to ensure that local elections be held in compliance with state law. I did not take lightly my decision to remove Mr. Martinez from the ballot, but I was certain that he was not a qualified candidate under the law. The courts agreed.”

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Reporters seeking more information or interviews: may call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (575) 525-5801.