Susan Riedel, who worked under Gov. Susana Martinez when she was the district attorney in Las Cruces, announced this morning that she's seeking the Republican nomination for attorney general.
“New Mexico deserves a strong prosecutor as attorney general,” Riedel said in a news release. “I will stand up and fight against those who would prey on the weak and try to take advantage of the public. I will enforce the laws of New Mexico to ensure that dangerous criminals are put behind bars."
Much of that time, Riedel worked in Martinez's DA office, she was chief deputy district attorney. After Martinez became governor, she appointed Riedel to a vacant judge's post in Doña Ana County. However, Riedel was defeated in 2012 when she ran for the judgeship.
Her cases include the “Baby Brianna” child-abuse/murder case and the conviction of Jesse Avalos for the murder of New Mexico State University freshman Carly Martinez.
Last year the governor appointed her old deputy to the state Public Defender Commission, a fact that Riedel doesn't include in the biography that accompanied her announcement.
At the time of her appointment the state Criminal Defense Lawyers Association called the choice of Riedel "slap in the face" to defendants who can't afford private lawyers, as well as to people who voted for an independent public defender's office. Her appointment also was opposed by some Democratic lawmakers including House Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Gail Chasey and House Majority Whip Rep. Antonio "Moe" Maestas, both D-Albuquerque.
Riedel briefly was chairwoman of the Dona Ana County Republican Party last year, which she served after the previous chairman David Clements resigned to run for U.S. Senate.
Riedel faces political newcomer Jim Baiamonte, an Albuquerque Republican, in the GOP primary. State Auditor Hector Balderas is the only Democrat who has announced for the job.
Many though that Clovis District Attorney Matt Chandler, who was the GOP nominee for AG in 2010, would run again. However, this week Chandler announced he would resign from his job on March 1 to go into private practice.
Riedel's campaign website is HERE