Race for Magistrate bench turns sour

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By Carol A. Clark

Likening Magistrate Judge Pat Casados’s performance to the under-sized, doughnut-like spare tire found inside the trunk of many cars and himself as a “brand new tire” is how challenger Gary Ahlers characterized the race in his opening remarks at Tuesday’s forum.
“My opponent is doing an OK job…but we need to take the doughnut off and put a brand new tire on…,” Ahlers said.
The Republican lost a 2006 run against two-time Democratic incumbent Casados.
The elephant in the room at Tuesday’s forum, cosponsored by the League of Women Voters of Los Alamos and the American Association of University Women, was Ahlers’ 1995 indictment. An audience member attempted to bring it up but exhausted her time limit. Then another audience member followed up asking if either candidate had ever been arrested. Casados said that she had not been arrested.
Ahlers joked that he’d been arrested “at least 30 different times for police brutality,” during his 20 years on the New Jersey police force, adding that lawyers always claim police rough up their clients.
In contrast to New Jersey, Los Alamos Police Capt. Randy Foster said that the LAPD has no recorded police brutality cases.

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