Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Vernon Taking a Business Approach.

Byline: Bruce Daniels Journal Staff Writer

ELECTION 2000

The Journal today profiles Republican district attorney candidate L. Skip Vernon. Tuesday's paper featured his opponent, Democrat Kari Brandenburg.

* Republican candidate for DA says his background as a businessman qualifies him to run New Mexico's "largest law firm"

L. Skip Vernon

Longtime state Sen. L. Skip Vernon says he will run the Bernalillo County District Attorney's Office like a business whose "product is prosecution."

Vernon, 44, says his long service in the Senate including the past eight years as GOP leader and his background as a businessman qualify him to become chief executive officer of what has come to be known as the "largest law firm" in New Mexico.

The Bernalillo County District Attorney's Office, Vernon said in a recent interview, has more attorneys (92), more staff (about 250) and a bigger budget (nearly $14 million a year) than any private law firm in the state.

Vernon is a relative newcomer to the practice of law. He was admitted to the state bar in 1993 and has experience mainly in administrative and construction law.

And though his recent courtroom experience has been largely limited to testifying as an expert witness, Vernon said he is still better qualified than his Democratic opponent Kari Brandenburg, 46, who has spent 21 years representing criminal defendants. …

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