Tris DeRoma
Attorney Doug Perrin argues District Judge Sheri Raphaelson’s case before the New Mexico Supreme Court Monday. Raphaelson, who lost a retention vote last month, argued that her term didn’t expire for two more years, but to no avail.
Raphaelson must leave bench

SANTA FE — The Supreme Court of New Mexico has determined that Los Alamos District Court Judge Sheri A. Raphaelson will have to leave office Jan. 1, the date that her six-year term ends.
Judge Raphaelson lost a Nov. 4 retention vote when 44.02 percent of the voters in the counties she serves, which include Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Rio Arriba, opted not to keep her on the bench for another term.
According to New Mexico election laws, Raphaelson needed at least 57 percent of the vote in order to stay in office. She only received 55.98 percent.
Raphaelson lost her retention vote largely on the strength of Los Alamos County’s results. The county cast 343 more votes not to retain her than wanted her back — she won the retention vote by a narrow 41-vote margin in Rio Arriba County, but by a relatively comfortable margin in Santa Fe County.
After the election, Raphaelson immediately challenged the judicial system’s reasoning to put her on the ballot in the first place through a letter to Chief First Judicial Judge Raymond Vigil.