Randi McGinn Guest Column: “Why Give Up Successful Law Firm To Run For Congress?”; COMMENTARY: McGinn’s Years Advocating Democratic Core Values Needed In Congress

On December 18, 2020, President Joe Biden announced the appointment of Congresswoman Debra Haaland as United State Secretary of Interior and her appointment must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. It is speculated that Haaland will be confirmed in late March by the Senate at which time she will resign her congressional seat.

The timing of Haaland’s resignation from congress will have a major impact on when a special election is held to replace her. Under New Mexico law, a special election must be held between 77 to 91 days after the seat is vacated. There will be no primary elections. Instead, New Mexico’s 3 recognized political parties central committees (Democrat, Republican and Libertarian Party) will meet and nominate their candidates at least 56 days before the special election.

In the Democratic Party, only members of the State Central Committee residing in Congressional District 1 will vote to fill the vacancy. There are about 170 members from the Albuquerque district on the Democrat Central Committee. Currently, there are 15 candidates running to replace Debera Haaland. A listing of those candidates can be found at this blog article entitled “The Race To Replace Debra Haaland In 1st Congressional District; 15 Announced Candidates Identified”:


Randi McGinn is the one candidate running for congress that sticks out above all the other candidates because of her success over many years in the private practice of law and her success in advocacy on issues facing the congressional district and Democratic core values she has fought for for decades.


I have known attorney Randi McGinn since 1984. Our paths have crossed at various times over the past 37 years. We both practiced law as Assistant District Attorneys in the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office working for then Bernalillo County District Attorney Steve Schiff who later went on to be elected to Congress himself and served CD 1 for a number of years. We both were assigned to the Violent Crime Division handling the prosecutions of homicides, rape , armed robbers, and aggravated assaults and even child abuse cases. Those were the years when young attorneys would go to work for the District Attorney’s office for two major reason: the courtroom trial experience and a dedication to public service.

Randi McGinn excelled as a trial attorney handling some of the most difficult and high-profile cases at the time. She was fearless in her advocacy for victims and making sure justice was served. When McGinn left the District Attorney’s office, she started her own law firm. Over the years, she has become one of the most highly respected and successful trial attorneys in the state of New Mexico, all the while advocating for Democratic core values and being involved community issues and organizations. She knows the issues that face Congressional District 1.

At the request of this blogger, Randi McGinn submitted the following column as to why she is running for congress.


“Why give up the successful law firm you’ve built and the people you love working with to run for Congress?

For me, like many others in our community, the last 4 years of chaos and the dismantling of government have been a clarion call to public service. Not only have we witnessed an attack on our democracy and Capitol, but an attack on our very humanity.

The American values I believed in vanished as racism and misogyny reared their ugly heads, resulting in:

–the government ripping children out of the arms of their parents on only one of our borders and banning people from Muslim countries
–women who dared speak truth to power being publicly degraded by a president
–citizens being snatched off the street for having the audacity to protest police killings of black men and women

My response to this American carnage was to fight back, attending the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. and engaging in “Get Out The Vote” efforts over the last 4 years.

Then, my husband and soulmate, Charles Daniels, was diagnosed with the fatal disease ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). He was given 1 year to live, but after choosing not to extend his life with extraordinary measures, died eleven weeks after his diagnosis on September 1, 2019. For the first time in my life, I experienced profound grief. For those who have lost someone they loved deeply, you know how the experience cracks you open and causes you to reconsider what you should do with the rest of your life.

After coming out the other side of mourning, I decided to take the skills I’ve honed over 40 years in the courtroom to Washington, D.C. to do what I do best — hold people accountable for the past corruption of our country and to use the opportunity in this crisis to transform government so it works to benefit its people.


If insurrection is not punished, then it becomes a dress rehearsal for the next time.

While the FBI has begun tracking down all of those who filmed themselves invading our Capitol, we can’t stop with the foot soldiers in this insurrection. Those at the top, who incited the attack, should not be above the law. All of those who promoted the false narrative that the election was stolen and that armed rebellion was the only recourse, should be charged, convicted and, based on the Fourteenth Amendment to our Constitution, Section 3, never be allowed to run for office again.

Just as I did when I volunteered to hold APD officers accountable for the shooting death of homeless camper James Boyd, in Congress, I would love to be a part of the team that investigates, exposes and holds accountable those who corrupted our democracy.


Just as my husband’s death caused me to re-evaluate the course of my life, the pandemic presents a unique opportunity for us to re-evaluate the course of our country. Rather than re-build government back, we have a chance to transform it based on the lessons learned from this crisis.

Lesson 1: Healthcare dependent on an employer doesn’t work in a pandemic when you lose your job through no fault of your own. It is time all American citizens had access to quality healthcare as a right. Having learned that one person can infect the whole world, we now understand that providing for the health of everyone in our community protects each of us and our families.

Lesson 2: The most important people in our community – the essential workers who stocked our groceries, made deliveries to our homes and kept us alive in this pandemic – are the ones we pay the least. Gratitude is not enough. It is time we paid those essential workers a fair wage, at least $15 an hour, eliminate the sexist and racist sub-minimum wage rate of $2.13 an hour for tipped workers and strengthen workers’ rights by strengthening the power of unions.

Gratitude is not enough. It is time we paid those essential workers a fair wage, at least $15 an hour, eliminate the sexist and racist sub-minimum wage rate of $2.13 an hour for tipped workers and strengthen workers’ rights by strengthening the power of unions.

Lesson 3: Educators are the most essential workers of all. Every parent shepherding a child at home doing on line classes has seen the heroic efforts of teachers to engage and keep our children learning. Grandparents, like me, who are pitching in to help with online reading (Harry Potter) or lessons have learned how hard teaching really is. In order to safely reopen classes, we need to keep this most precious resource safe with vaccinations, then support them with raises and extra resources, including social workers, nurses and aides.

Lesson 4: On line learning has exposed the appalling lack of internet resources in New Mexico’s rural areas and on our reservations and pueblos. It is heartbreaking to see children sitting in their parent’s cars in restaurant parking lots just so they can attend their classes. We need broadband access now and make it free to poor or disenfranchised communities.

Lesson 5: There is nothing like isolating or working from home to make you appreciate the glorious outdoor spaces we have in New Mexico. We have to heal our planet, reduce our methane and greenhouse gas emissions, and reverse the drought ravaging our state.

This is an extraordinary moment in our history, an inflection point where real progressive change is possible. The Biden-Harris administration has swiftly taken steps to undo through executive orders the abominable policies on immigration, unlimited drilling on public lands, and withdrawing from nuclear non-proliferation treaties, the World Health Organization and the Paris Climate Accords. Those great first steps need to be followed with legislation so they cannot be reversed simply by a change in leaders.

Just as I practiced transformative law – asking not just for money, but for safety changes to make sure tragedies didn’t happen again — in Congress I will work for permanent, transformative change.”

You can review Randi Mc Ginn’s Her Youtube announcement is here:



New Mexico, and in turn, the 1st Congressional District, is facing any number of problems that are bringing it to its knees. Those problems include the corona virus pandemic, business closures, high unemployment rates, exceptionally high violent crime and murders rates, poverty, children at risk, a lack luster education system and very little economic development.

On the federal level, issues the country is facing include a threat to our democracy and the election process, COVID relief aide to the state, systemic racism, preserving a woman’s right to choose, responsible gun control, equal rights, civil rights and LGBTQ Rights, immigration reform, health care for all, increasing the minimum wage and paid sick leave, legalization of marijuana, campaign finance reform addressing “citizen united”, fair taxation for all with emphasis on the middle class and forcing corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes, just to mention a few.

The Congressional District 1 can go no longer afford to elect people to congress based upon promises and nothing but eternal hope for better times and for a better future and with no results. What is needed is a congressional representative that actually knows what they are doing, and are informed and will make the hard decisions without their eye on the next election or higher office nor someone who just wants to placate their base and tell them what they want to hear. A person who is willing to serve in the United State House for a number of years with an emphasis on constituent services and not use the office as nothing more than a stepping stone for higher office down the road.

I am confident and can say without reservations that Randi McGinn will concentrate on what’s important to the 1st Congressional District and its people and that she truly committed to public service. The Democrat Party is fortunate to have someone of her caliber running for office. The Democratic State Central Committee should have absolutely no reservations about making Randi our nominee for congress.

Learn more about Randi McGinn and what she stands for by going her campaign web page by clicking on the below link:


This entry was posted in Opinions by . Bookmark the permalink.


Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.