When Ramona Parker found out the governor appointed her husband, Joe, to fill a vacancy on the 9th Judicial District Court bench, she realized she had just lost her job.
Ramona Parker is her husband’s bookkeeper and business manager for his law firm, but she won’t be making the transition to the Curry County Courthouse.
“I’ve been working with my husband about 11 or 12 years,” she said. “I knew I would lose my job when he got the judgeship, but I haven’t thought about what I would do until now.”
Mrs. Parker said her husband will perform his new role well.
“I think he would be the best possible judge there could be because he’s a peacemaker and he treats all people fairly,” she said.
Joe Parker said he found out late Friday about the governor’s decision to appoint him to the bench.
“The governor … congratulated me and told me he thought I was the man for the job. He was very gracious,” Parker said.
“I’m pleased to be appointed. I’m pleased to be a part of public service. I feel my training has led me to this point and has prepared me to take this role. I know I’ve got a learning curve to overcome, but I think my experience will serve me well. Hopefully, it will help me to adapt.”
Richardson cited Parker’s 21 years of experience as an attorney in making the announcement.
“Both friends and adversaries in the courtroom describe Mr. Parker as a man of great integrity and responsibility,” Richardson said in a press release.
Parker is the first Republican appointed by Richardson to a judgeship. He replaces former 9th Judicial District Court Judge Robert Brack, who was recently confirmed as a U.S. District Court judge for New Mexico.
“This is another sign of bipartisanship in state government,” Richardson said. “I promised to appoint the most qualified candidates, regardless of party affiliation. And I promised to represent all New Mexicans.”
Richardson also praised Clovis lawyer Robert S. Orlik, another candidate for the judgeship. The governor said Orlik also has “impeccable credentials, and is well respected in Curry County.”