AG election loss primes Bibb for U.S. Attorney's race
The losing GOP candidate in last year's New Mexico attorney general race is now in the running for another top legal post.
Jim Bibb of Santa Fe, who was defeated last November by Democrat Gary King, is one of four New Mexico attorneys nominated by U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici (R) to fill the post of U.S. Attorney vacated by David C. Iglesias.
Iglesias, a Republican, was forced to resign in December as one of the so-called "Gonzalez Seven" - seven U.S. Attorneys around the country who were purged by U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez.
First appointed in 2001, Iglesias was the top federal prosecutor in New Mexico. He will officially step down on Feb. 28.
Bibb, a former state and federal prosecutor and FBI agent, lost 56 percent to 44 percent last November in a race where both candidates spent more than $1 million each.
King began the race with a huge name-recognition advantage but Bibb's strong campaigning over the concluding weeks narrowed the gap significantly. Bibb called his first campaign "a very positive experience."
"I'm very grateful for the number of New Mexicans who voted for me," he said after the campaign. "It bodes well for my future and New Mexico's future."
Domenici's other nominations include fellow Santa Fe attorney Glenn Ellington, former secretary of the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department and state appellate and district judge.
Pat Rogers was formerly the chief counsel for the New Mexico Republican Party and is a long-time Albuquerque attorney. Charles Peifer is a former chief assistant attorney general who has been in private practice for 16 years.