June 23, 2016

Kubiak drops out of BernCo DA race

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Second Judicial District Court in AlbuquerquePhoto Credit: Andy Lyman

Republican Simon Kubiak announced Thursday he is dropping out of the race for District Attorney in Bernalillo County.

Second Judicial District Court in Albuquerque Photo Credit: Andy Lyman

Second Judicial District Court in Albuquerque Photo Credit: Andy Lyman

Kubiak, an Albuquerque defense attorney, told NM Political Report his reasons for dropping out are “purely financial” and that he was at a disadvantage against his Democratic candidate Raul Torrez.

“I just can’t raise as much money as Raul,” Kubiak said in a phone interview.

According to its latest filing, Kubiak’s campaign reported having slightly more than $1,600 in cash on hand with $500 of unpaid campaign debt. Kubiak loaned that money his campaign to open a bank account. Torrez last reported having $41,500 on hand with $10,000 in unpaid campaign debt.

In a press release Kubiak alluded to Torrez’s campaign getting support from George Soros, who commonly backs progressive candidates and causes.

“The median income in Albuquerque is around $47,500 per year…it would be irresponsible of me to ask our supporters to donate their hard earned money to my campaign knowing that it can become a million dollar race or more,” Kubiak said in his statement. “New Mexicans cannot afford to challenge anyone who has unlimited resources and support from a multibillionaire from another country.”

Kubiak took further shots the campaigns support of Soros in his press release.

“This exploitation of our citizens deeply saddens me because all of us know the safety and security of our community has been jeopardized,” Kubiak said.

In a written statement Torrez responded to the news that Kubiak dropped out by saying he will continue to campaign and promote his ideas for the DA’s office. In his statement he reiterated that crime prevention should be a “targeted approach” aimed at violent offenders and “that jail cannot be the only answer for nonviolent offenders who struggle with mental health and addiction issues.”

Torrez implied that he is prepared for another opponent.

“I look forward to debating these issues with any opponent while we work to build a modern criminal justice system that not only makes us safe, but makes us proud,” Torrez said.

Kubiak told NM Political Report he sent a certified letter to Secretary of State Brad Winter to officially withdraw from the race.

It’s still unclear what Republican, if anyone, will replace Kubiak in the race. Since the Second Judicial District encompasses only Bernalillo County, the county’s Republican Party would be tasked with Kubiak’s replacement.

Chairman of the Republican Party of Bernalillo County Frank Ruvolo told NM Political Report the party has not selected anyone to replace Kubiak and would first have to put out “feelers” to see if there are any interested candidates.

“We may not even have anyone interested,” Ruvolo said.

If the party finds someone interested in running against Torrez, a committee would meet to officially pick a Republican candidate.

Torrez beat out Ed Perea in the Democratic primary earlier this month, campaigning largely on his intention to overhaul the DA’s office and work towards criminal justice reform. Kubiak’s campaign website listed organizational restructuring within the DA’s office as well as pushing for less prosecution for “victimless crimes” as some of his intentions as district attorney.

Update: Added a response from Democratic candidate Raul Torrez.

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