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Candidates on the ballot for New Mexico Supreme Court Division 2 seat

The current Supreme Court justice was appointed last year.

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Justice David Thomson is the Democratic Party candidate and faces Republican Party candidate Kerry Morris in the upcoming Nov. 3 general election.
  • Both candidates ran unopposed in the June 2 primary election.
  • Thomson served as a district court judge for the First Judicial District from 2015 until he was appointed to the state supreme court.

FARMINGTON — The incumbent New Mexico Supreme Court justice for Division 2 is up for election after taking the bench early last year and faces a candidate who has no judicial experience but more than 40 years of legal experience.

Justice David Thomson is the Democratic Party candidate and faces Republican Party candidate Kerry Morris in the upcoming Nov. 3 general election.

Thomson was sworn into the office on Feb. 4, 2019, after being appointed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Both candidates ran unopposed in the June 2 primary election.

New Mexico Supreme Court Justice for Division 2 David Thomson

Justice Thomson

Thomson served as a district court judge for the First Judicial District from 2015 until he was appointed to the state Supreme Court.

He earned his law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in Denver, Colorado. Thomson joined the New Mexico Attorney General's Office in 1999, working his way up to deputy attorney general.

Thomson told The Daily Times he enjoyed working with juries on jury trials as a trial court judge.

He said he was attracted to serving on the appellate court after having a busy civil case docket, which didn't give him a lot of time to delve into the legal issues presented to him.

Being on the state Supreme Court also provided Thomson an opportunity to help the state court system become a more efficient and effective process, an area he is interested in.

Similar to what Justice C. Shannon Bacon told The Daily Times, Thomson said figuring out how to keep state courts open as COVID-19 pandemic took hold earlier this year took a lot of work to keep the system going.

One thing Justice Thomson hopes to keep in place when COVID-19 starts to dwindle is the court's ability to handle remote hearings.

He believes the remote hearings would benefit litigants or defendants in rural parts of the state, saving them a long-distance drive to the courthouse for a hearing.

Kerry Morris

Kerry Morris

Morris earned his Juris Doctor from the University of New Mexico joint JD/MBA program, but did not complete his MBA to focus on the law.

He worked as a prosecutor for the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office for a few years. Morris started his own law firm in 1986 after working as an insurance agent and stockbroker.

He told The Daily Times he has represented thousands of clients in almost every area of the law, including the University of New Mexico Hospital, New Mexico School for the Deaf and various state agencies.

Morris believes he would bring a unique experience to the state Supreme Court, believing no other judge would have as much experience as he does in many areas of the law.

When asked about not having any experience as a judge, Morris noted that former New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Edward Chavez was appointed and did not have judicial experience before his appointment.

Echoing statements from fellow Republican state Supreme Court candidate Ned Fuller, Morris hopes to see judges focusing on applying the law equally and impartially and not acting as mini-legislators or politicians in robes.

He added that the people should decide what laws should be enacted, saying judges should focus on law before politics.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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