Responses from Magistrate Judge candidates

Linda Short

Linda Short

Timothy Gibson

Timothy Gibson

By Christina Calloway
Senior writer
ccalloway@pntonline.com

Two candidates are seeking the Republican nomination for Roosevelt County Magistrate Judge in the June 3 primary election. Both candidates responded to a series of questions from the Portales News-Tribune:

Timothy Gibson
Age
: 31
Profile: Gibson has served in law enforcement for a little more than 10 years and is a deputy with the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office. The husband and father of three has lived in Portales for about 19 years.

How would you ensure you’re fair in your rulings?
You got to start every case with an open mind. You have to make sure you listen to every piece of evidence, not just part of it. Any comment made in trial can hold affect on a case. You need to go into every case with an open mind and an unbiased opinion and hear every case to the fullest.

What is your campaign platform?
The basis of my campaign is stricter punishment for the repeat offenders, an open-door policy where the citizens can come in and voice their opinions, and I want to everyone to know that my schedule is their schedule. I want to implement a new community service program where (offenders) are going out and cleaning up the highways, the city parks the county cemeteries, making them paint over the graffiti areas.

What would you be the least tolerant of in your courtroom?
The biggest thing I won’t tolerate is being late to court. If court starts at 9 o’clock, you’re there at 9 o’clock. Anyone that’s late is subject to consequences.

What ideas do you have to improve Magistrate Court?
The biggest thing I think is the timely manner thing. Things needs to be done in a more timely manner as well as the stricter punishment. I think that’s the majority of what needs to be improved on.

What is your definition of justice?
My definition of justice is they receive an adequate punishment for the crime they commit when found guilty. I feel like if somebody’s committed the same time over and over again, I believe their punishment should be harsher and progresses as it goes along.

Linda Short
Age
: 49
Profile: She is the current magistrate judge and was elected on 2010. The wife and mother of three (two are living), is coming up on 24 years of working in the judicial system.

How would you ensure you’re fair in your rulings?
My integrity and my ability to read and understand the law. To know what the sentencing standards are for whatever the charge that I’m sentencing to.

What is your campaign platform?
I wanted to run for this position again because I feel I have the ability to be fair and impartial and I feel Roosevelt County deserves a magistrate with those qualities.

What would you be the least tolerant of in your courtroom?
Disrespectful behavior. I just believe when you are appearing before the court, you have the responsibility to conduct yourself in a respectful mature manner that is befitting to the court.

How would you improve Magistrate Court?
The one thing I’d like to improve with the court is our security and I believe that will be taken care of with the new building. Right now with the budget constraints, there won’t be any upgrades as it is. I believe the new building will address all the security issues. I’d like everybody to feel safe when they have to appear in the courtroom.

What is your definition of justice?
It would be justice served fairly and impartially and by the Constitution of the U.S. and the laws of the state of New Mexico. Not every one agrees with our justice system, but that’s all we have.