Perez withdraws from magistrate judge race

Argen Duncan

In the magistrate judge race, Eastern New Mexico University police officer Charles Perez has withdrawn his candidacy and KENW News and Public Affairs Director for FM James “Jim” Lee has stepped into the contest.

Both men are Democrats.

Republican Linda Short is also running for magistrate judge in November.

Perez withdrew Aug. 27, and the Roosevelt County Democrat Party filed Lee’s candidacy Sept. 7, said Linda Connelly of the County Clerk’s Office.

Perez said he withdrew because he decided to finish his college degree to have a back-up plan. He thinks he would be a good judge based on his background and experience, so he plans to run for the position later, maybe the next time it’s up for election, Perez said.

Lee said he began his candidacy after the county Democrat Party unanimously selected him to replace Perez during an emergency meeting.

“I was asked to do it, and I think the people of Roosevelt County should have the opportunity to make a selection,” he said.

Lee listed his qualifications as earning a bachelor’s degree in law from the Blackstone School of Law in Chicago, doing the legal work to found six corporations in three states and volunteering with Roosevelt County Teen Court for eight years.