Serving the High Plains

Hendrickson chosen as magistrate judge

New Mexico’s governor has tapped Tucumcari Municipal Judge Noreen Hendrickson as Quay County’s next magistrate judge and likely will take office sometime next month.

Reached by phone Wednesday night, Hendrickson confirmed she received a congratulatory phone call and email about her appointment Tuesday from an aide to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Hendrickson said she will undergo 80 hours of training before she becomes magistrate judge, though she said she didn’t have an exact timetable of when that would occur.

“I’m super-excited to serve Quay County doing something I love doing,” she said.

She will replace Timothy O’Quinn, who resigned in April after 4 1/2 years on the bench.

A total of six candidates applied for the position to the governor’s office, according to data from a recent open-records request by the Quay County Sun.

Hendrickson said her last day as a municipal judge will be July 12.

Hendrickson was appointed Tucumcari municipal judge in January 2019 and won election to the post later that year to a two-year term.

Hendrickson admitted she is a registered Republican, and at least three other magistrate judge candidates from the region also are members of the GOP. Lujan Grisham is a Democrat.

She acknowledged she was a bit surprised the governor chose her, given their divergent political affiliations.

“You wonder if that plays a part, but obviously it didn’t,” Hendrickson said. “I’m honored that she chose me.”

Hendrickson would be up for election as magistrate judge next year.