Katherine Basham - Probate Judge

Democrat - Santa Fe County


My name is Katherine Basham, and I am running as a Democrat for the position of Probate Judge in Santa Fe County.


Law school career

Out of a class of 101, I graduated 3rd.  People told me that they were going to “watch” my legal career.  They expected big things.  What I did was start a family.  And, with my husband Mark, I raised three children (and continue to “raise” them as adults, if you know what I mean).  And I practiced law; and I taught law.


Then in May 2009, my mother-in-law, Judy Basham, passed away very unexpectedly after a car accident.  And as all sudden deaths do, it made me reflect on how short life is and whether I am happy doing what I’m doing.  What do I really want to do?

I thought back to law school and how I’ve always aspired to take a public role in the legal community. I want to use my skills to serve the public as a judge. I feel the time is right for that now.


What attributes do I possess that merit putting me on the bench?

I’ve got the mind of a judge—I’ve always excelled in analytical tasks.  I can synthesize laws and facts into a logical whole.  I can analyze all the angles.


Mack, Jordan and Austin Basham

I think this public position will make full use of my love for reading about the law, writing about the law, analyzing and synthesizing law and facts.


What do I know about probate law?  Quite a bit.  I studied it in law school and came out with the top grade in that class.  I taught it while I was head of the paralegal studies program at the Santa Fe Community College.  I’ve practiced it in my legal career.


Vetted by the Judicial Nominating Commission

In 2010, I went through a rigorous vetting by the Judicial Nominating Commission for consideration as a District Court Judge in Santa Fe.  I submitted a lengthy application, a writing sample and several recommendations.

I spoke in front of a bipartisan panel consisting of “the chief justice of the supreme court or the chief justice's designee from the supreme court; two judges of the court of appeals appointed by the chief judge of the court of appeals; the governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the president pro tempore of the senate shall each appoint two persons, one of whom shall be an attorney licensed to practice law in this state and the other who shall be a citizen who is not licensed to practice law in any state; the dean of the university of New Mexico school of law, who shall serve as chairman of the commission and shall vote only in the event of a tie vote; four members of the state bar of New Mexico, representing civil and criminal prosecution and defense, appointed by the president of the state bar and the judges on this committee.  The appointments shall be made in such manner that each of the two largest major political parties, as defined by the Election Code, shall be equally represented on the commission.”


The following is the criteria used to evaluate me:

* physical and mental ability to perform the tasks required

* impartiality

* industry

* integrity

* professional skills

* community involvement

* social awareness

* collegiality

* writing ability

* decisiveness

* judicial temperament

* speaking ability


I was recommended to the Governor for a District Court Judgeship.  (The Honorable Mary Marlowe Sommer was eventually appointed by the Governor).  But I am proud to say that I was thoroughly vetted and was recommended for a judgeship.


Judy & Austin Basham

Lifelong Democrat

I would also like to say a few words about my participation with the Santa Fe Democrat Party.  I have been involved in this party since I moved here 24 years ago.  So it’s not as if I have been sitting on the sidelines and only stepping up to the plate when I decided to run for office.  I began my involvement with the Santa Fe Democrat Party alongside my beloved in-laws Judy and Austin Basham.  When they passed, I carried on with my involvement.  I’ve given of my time.  I’ve been a poll watcher at elections.  I’ve brought food and refreshments to the volunteers working the phones on Election Day.  I’ve decorated the Santa Fe Democrat float for the historical/hysterical parade (more than once).  I’ve been a delegate.  And I’ve been a sponsor of the Democrat Party of Santa Fe County’s Annual Award Ceremony and Mardi Gras fundraiser for several years running now.  In other words, the Party Chair knows if he needs someone’s time or someone’s financial support, he can call on me.  I am no stranger to the Center for Progress and Justice (the Santa Fe County Democrat headquarters)


And, for all these reasons, I ask that you vote for me on June 3rd to be the next Santa Fe County Probate Judge.


Paid for by the Committee to Elect Katherine Basham Santa Fe County Probate Judge

1466 Miracerros Loop N, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505

Lynette Montoya, Treasurer