Municipal Judge II: Three candidates on the city-wide ballot – Las Cruces Solar-Information

Editor's word: That is the fourth of 4 tales profiling races in the Nov. 7 municipal election.

LAS CRUCES - The race for Las Cruces Municipal Judge II will see three candidates, two who need the place — Pleasure Godlbaum and Nelson Goodin — and the incumbent, Kent Yalkut, who was appointed to change Kieran Ryan in March 2016, .

Election Day in the municipal election is Nov. 7. Metropolis Council seats for Districts three, 5 and 6 are additionally on the ballot. The winners will start 4-yr phrases on Jan. . Early voting has already begun.

All residents and certified voters of Las Cruces could vote for the Municipal Judge II place, no matter which council district they stay in. Candidates should be members of the new Mexico State Bar Affiliation and be residents and certified voters in the metropolis. 

Goldbaum, 58, has a non-public observe in felony protection and household legislation. A 1991 graduate of Georgetown College Regulation Middle, she has additionally labored in public defender’s workplaces, the district legal professional’s workplace and as a particular assistant legal professional basic and a home violence particular commissioner. She has been married to her husband, Norman Goldbaum, for 24 years.

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Her prime precedence, if elected, could be to institute a homeless courtroom program, a venture she has already mentioned with members of the Las Cruces Metropolis Council and the Mesilla Valley Group of Hope. This system exists in misdemeanor courts throughout the nation and has been endorsed by the American Bar Affiliation.

“Considered one of the predominant characteristic is it takes courtroom, about as soon as a month, roughly, to the place the homeless inhabitants is,” she mentioned. “The advantages of this courtroom are actually essential and might be life-altering for folks in Las Cruces. It helps the courtroom scale back the variety of circumstances that don’t get closed shortly. It frees up legislation enforcement from spending hours and hours every week serving arrest warrants on nonviolent defendants.”

The courtroom would alleviate the “warehousing of so many nonviolent misdemeanor defendants in the detention middle,” she mentioned. It could tackle points corresponding to lack of cash, types of identification and addresses for courtroom paperwork, in addition to psychological well being points and different underlying issues corresponding to substance abuse or alcoholism, she mentioned.

"I very a lot hope to be elected and turn out to be the homeless courtroom decide along with the common docket work as a result of it’s one thing I’m very keen about,” she mentioned. “A rising tide lifts all ships. While you begin having the ability to reintegrate folks which have been exterior the system so lengthy it may actually spiral into plenty of actually good issues the place they, themselves, flip round and need to assist folks in the similar place.”

Extra: City Council: Levatino, Flores vying for District 6 seat

Goodin, 52, is the Doña Ana County legal professional. He obtained his legislation diploma in 1991 from California Western Faculty of Regulation at San Diego and a grasp’s of legislation in taxation in 1998 from the College of San Diego. He served as District Court docket decide in 2012, and as Justice of the Peace Court docket decide in 2013 and 2014. His has a son, Andre, who's 12.

Goodin mentioned he believes the courtroom is functioning effectively, however vows to make the courtroom extra accessible to members of the public and to take heed to individuals who seem earlier than the bench.

“I've the expertise, a broad authorized background overlaying many, many areas and expertise as a decide,” Goodin mentioned. “I've the means to take heed to folks and impartially and pretty adjudicate their circumstances.”

Goodin factors to his prior expertise as a decide and a listening to officer as placing him in good stead to fill the place. He mentioned he's operating as a result of, “I consider I've the means to guage circumstances and that’s what I love to do.”

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Goodin added that he's an energetic member of the Las Cruces neighborhood, beforehand volunteering as a coach for soccer, basketball and observe. He has labored as a referee and volunteered with each the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.

Yalkut, 58, earned his legislation diploma from Ohio Northern College in 1991. He's presently the Municipal Judge II for the metropolis of Las Cruces. He labored for the native District Legal professional’s Workplace for 5 years, was a particular commissioner for home violence for 3 years, a particular assistant legal professional basic for the State of New Mexico for 5 years, served twice as municipal decide and was beforehand an alternate decide for the metropolis of Las Cruces. He has a daughter, Krystal Yalkut.

Yalkut ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic Occasion nomination for the county Justice of the Peace Court docket's Division three seat in June 2014. He was disciplined by the New Mexico Supreme Court docket attributable to violations of the state's skilled conduct guidelines for attorneys and was suspended for a yr in October 2007, in line with state Supreme Court docket filings.

He mentioned one among his priorities could be in search of a brand new, fashionable constructing to exchange the 102-year-outdated constructing that presently homes the courtroom, which he mentioned is operating effectively. He additionally requires modernizing the pc system to permit the use of electronic mail and different paperless choices to streamline the listening to course of.

Extra: Vasquez, Montanez and Levatino our picks for city

“With the introduction of contemporary expertise, it permits us to course of folks extra shortly and get them taken care of,” he mentioned.

Yalkut mentioned his years of expertise on the bench make him the greatest candidate.

“I’ve seen near 100,000 circumstances as a decide,” Yalkut mentioned. “I've the expertise to deal with these folks and get them taken care of. We're a visitors and petty misdemeanor courtroom. We simply don’t see the extra critical circumstances you'd in District Court docket. Coping with folks, the at the start factor we do is we take time to speak to each individual that is available in and handle the public.”

Yalkut mentioned he's a member of the Lions Membership and president of the Southern New Mexico Diabetes Basis.

Jason Gibbs could also be reached at 575-541-5451, or @fjgwriter on Twitter.

Pleasure Goldbaum

Training: Georgetown College Regulation Middle, J.D., 1991, public curiosity legislation scholar.

Occupation: Personal felony protection and household legislation observe.

Age: 58

Rapid household: Norman Goldbaum, husband of 24 years.

Web site:, electronic mail:

Nelson Goodin

Training: Brigham Younger College, bachelor’s in worldwide relations and Portuguese, 1988. California Western Faculty of Regulation at San Diego, J.D., 1991. College of San Diego, grasp’s of legislation in taxation, 1999.  

Occupation: Doña Ana County legal professional.

Age: 52

Rapid household: Son, Andre Goodin, 12.  

Web site: None

Kent Yalkut

Training: New Mexico State College, bachelor’s of enterprise administration. Ohio Northern College, J.D., 1991.

Occupation: Metropolis of Las Cruces Municipal Court docket Judge.

Age: 58

Rapid household: Daugher, Krystal Yalkut.

Web site:


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Municipal Judge II: Three candidates on the city-wide ballot - Las Cruces Solar-Information