UPDATED: Norman R. Wheeler announces his candidacy for District Attorney for the Sixth Judicial District
I’m Norm Wheeler and I ask for your support as I run for District Attorney of the Sixth Judicial District in the upcoming election. I don’t profess to be a politician and never expected to run for office, but I believe that I have reached a time in my career where it is important to give back to the community. I do not believe the position of District Attorney should be a political position. Its function should be performed based on an aggressive, intelligent analysis of facts, which are then applied to the law; not based upon who we know. Keeping that in mind I will share some information about me.
For as long as I can remember I wanted to live in the southwest. After visiting a friend in Silver City, my wife and I fell in love with the area and decided to purchase property and move here. When not at the office you are likely to find me doing some ranching related activity.
Prior to moving to NM, I was licensed and practicing law in Illinois. I started my legal career prosecuting criminal cases for the Winnebago County State’s Attorney Office; first prosecuting in the juvenile division (abuse/neglect and delinquency) and later in the felony division. I was hired from the States Attorney’s Office to do criminal defense work for one of the largest criminal defense firms in northern Illinois where I would become a partner. After practicing in that capacity I lost a coin toss in the office and began to practice family law and related civil law matters.
After moving to New Mexico and becoming licensed in New Mexico, I began working as an associate with Jim Foy and Associates in Silver City. I left that office in 2015 and began to work for the Sixth Judicial District Attorney’s Office where I am currently employed as a Deputy District Attorney. In addition to working as a Deputy DA, I sit on the Grant County Adult Drug Court Team and work with officers from local city, county, state and federal agencies. This past year I was honored to be awarded the “2018 Southwest New Mexico Prosecutor of the Year” from the Prosecutor’s Section of the New Mexico State Bar Association.
There have been two distinct activities in my past which were instrumental in forming my work ethic. The first of these activities included my association with the Boy Scouts. Through Boy Scouts I learned that by setting goals, developing a plan to achieve those goals, and perseverance, I could accomplish those goals. Through the application of those principals I earned scouting’s two highest awards, “God and County” and “Eagle Scout”.
The second activity was my association with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps If you aren’t familiar with drum corps, I would encourage you to Google the activity. Imagine the best marching band you have ever watched on steroids. After first participating as a marching member I became the visual designer for the Phantom Regiment. I applied the lessons learned in scouting and added team building. With the help of a team of people I developed, Phantom Regiment Corps became one of the best in North America. This organization is known and respected for its accomplishments worldwide. I was honored for this work by being inducted into the Phantom Regiment Hall of Fame. I believe these principals of goal setting, perseverance and team building can be utilized to make the Sixth Judicial District, (Luna, Hidalgo and Grant Counties) a better place to live.
I have prosecuted in numerous different areas of law for the Sixth but now primarily drug cases. When first assigned to prosecute drug related cases my case load was approximately 50 cases. Since then, by partnering with local law enforcement and improving our skills together, the case load has grown to 200-300 cases on an ongoing basis. As a result of these improved skills, better cases are now being investigated and prosecuted and at a level where some of the cases are being adopted and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. This adoption of local cases is a testament to the hard work of our local law enforcement officers.
What I have come to recognize is the devastating effect drugs are having on a large portion of our community. This effect is felt not only through increased crime rates such as domestic violence and property crimes but also through the devastating personal toll on the lives of addicts and their loved ones. If we identify areas of concern in our community, develop and focus on a plan for addressing those concerns, then apply overall accountability and integrity in the prosecution of those crimes which affect our community, we can make the tri-county area a better place to live.
I have found that the Sixth Judicial District Attorney’s Office has the core of a great team of personnel with which to work. We have begun working hard on partnering with law enforcement to provide a better positive environment. I believe that through continued development, significant strides can be made to improve our tri-county community. In this day and age of skepticism it is a natural reaction to either do nothing or to be against things. I believe however, it is more important to stand for something and I believe together we can stand for reducing crime and violence in the Luna, Hidalgo and Grant Counties.
I look forward to your support and welcome your input as we get to know each other and partner to improve our lives in the Luna, Hidalgo and Grant Counties. If you have questions or suggestions, I can be reached at email@example.com.