Name: Mark Paternoster
Occupation: District court bailiff
Running for: Probate judge
Party affiliation: Democrat
Elected offices held: none
What is your background?
After living and working in Albuquerque for over 20 years, my wife and I moved our family to Portales in 1988. Here, I have worked at a local title company and at the County Assessor’s office. Since 2001, I have been the district court bailiff. My wife, Leslie, is director of the nursing school at Eastern New Mexico University.
Why are you running for probate judge?
I want to be involved in an important function of public service by helping families during times of special needs.
What is the most important function of the office in your opinion?
I believe the most important function of the Probate Court is the timely and efficient adjudication of probate cases in accordance with the laws of New Mexico.
What traits and experience are necessary for the position and how do your own traits and experience relate?
To me, the probate judge needs to be compassionate, trustworthy, impartial and very respectful in handling the affairs of the families and the estates. Also the judge must have and uphold the integrity to represent the office. I believe that I possess and can demonstrate those qualities and my work experience and familiarity with probate proceedings qualify me for the job.
What changes to the operation of the office would you propose?
Historically the probate function has run smoothly in the county. However I would improve the Probate Court by setting a regular schedule of office hours, while retaining the flexibility that the office requires. Also I would strive to be accessible, visible and available whenever specific needs and procedures arise.