Former New Mexico GOP Candidate Arrested Over Shootings

Solomon Peña, a former candidate for New Mexico’s legislature, was arrested Monday for allegedly paying, and conspiring with, four men to shoot at the homes of four political opponents — two state legislators and two county commissioners.

Former New Mexico GOP Candidate Arrested Over Shootings
Image credit: businessinsider

Facts

  • Solomon Peña, a former candidate for New Mexico’s legislature, was arrested Monday for allegedly paying, and conspiring with, four men to shoot at the homes of four political opponents — two state legislators and two county commissioners.
  • Peña, a Republican who lost the race for New Mexico House District 14, has been accused of being the mastermind behind the shootings, which targeted the homes of Democratic politicians between December and January.
  • Albuquerque police say Peña paid four gunmen $500 to carry out the shootings, and that Peña participated in one himself. Evidence includes confidential witness testimony, cellphone records, bullet casings, and surveillance footage, according to Albuquerque’s police chief.
  • The victims were Bernalillo County commissioner Adriann Barboa, former county commissioner Debbie O’Malley, state Sen. Linda Lopez, and new NM House Speaker Javier Martinez. Pena allegedly claimed election fraud while visiting the homes of Barboa and O’Malley.
  • Peña’s arrest comes amid the investigation of two other reported shootings near the offices of elected officials, but authorities say those incidents are not related. Previously, Peña’s opponent, Democratic state Rep. Miguel Garcia, tried to have him removed from the ballot since he is an ex-felon.
  • Despite losing the election by 47 points, Peña never conceded and instead alleged the election was “rigged.” No one was injured in the shootings.

Sources: FOX News, CNN, NPR Online News, NBC, and Newsweek.

Narratives

  • Democratic narrative, as provided by MSNBC. Baselessly claiming election fraud has now reached a critical point where "extreme MAGA Republicans" are resorting to violence against their political opponents — an extremely devastating development. If elected officials now have to fear literal gunfire, this is a blow to democracy, and the GOP is to blame.
  • Republican narrative, as provided by KOB. The justice system exists for a reason, and if Peña has orchestrated this horrible string of crimes, he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The GOP strongly condemns all forms of violence.