Probate Judge Candidate: Barbara George

Name: Barbara A. George

Age: 67

Occupation: Teen Court Coordinator

Running for: Probate judge

Party affiliation: Republican

Elected offices held: I have been elected to various positions including: church clerk, NM HPER secretary, Delta Kappa Gamma, President; Teen Court State Quadrant Representative.

What is your background?

I graduated from Texas Tech University and had my first teaching job in Farmington. I then took a job at Portales High School. While teaching at PHS, I received my Master’s and Education Specialist Degree from Eastern New Mexico University. After retiring from the Portales schools, I went to work as the Teen Court Coordinator for Roosevelt County. I was appointed by the city council to serve as alternate judge for Municipal Court.

Why are you running for probate judge?

I have always enjoyed working with and serving the public. I have been interested in the law from my college days when I worked for the police department, to coaching mock trial teams, and serving as an alternate judge. A death in a family is never easy; I know as I have been there. I think I could understand and could really know how the family is feeling. It would be good to know that I had been able to help them through a very difficult time in their life.

What is the most important function of the office in your opinion?

The probate judge’s office handles the legal process of proving a will, appointing an executor and settling an estate. I feel it is very important to follow the correct legal process for a deceased person’s estate to be administered. I realize a probate judge cannot give legal advice, but that person can answer procedural questions and be of immense help to the public. Of course, there is also the fun side of conducting marriage ceremonies and being a part of a family’s happiest time.

What traits and experience are necessary for the position and how do your own traits and experience relate?

I think the probate judge should be available to the public, have a strong work ethic and be knowledgeable about the procedures to follow and to have a real empathy for people.

I have a very strong work ethic. I know many people and try to help people whenever I can. I am willing to learn new procedures. I have strong empathy for people who are suffering the loss of a loved one. My experience in the courts would be a great help as I would know where to find answers. I have never been hesitant to do research on a question that needs answering.

What changes to the operation of the office would you propose?

I have not been privileged to the day-to-day operation of the probate office. I would continue in the same way, changing things only to fit my individual schedule and personality.