Trump's election lies inspired a series of targeted shootings against Democrats
A failed Republican state legislative candidate in New Mexico was arrested after he allegedly orchestrated a series of shootings at the homes of Democratic officials.
Solomon Peña, a Republican who lost a New Mexico state House election in November, was arrested on Monday after an investigation found he allegedly orchestrated a series of shootings at the homes of Democratic state officials.
According to the police, Peña allegedly paid four men to shoot at the homes of two Democratic county commissioners and two state senators in December, NBC News reported. No one was injured in the shootings. However, according to NBC News, police said Peña’s overwhelming loss in November — in which he garnered just 26% of the vote against Democratic state Rep. Miguel Garcia — was a possible motivation for the violence.
Peña is a Donald Trump supporter who has parroted the former president’s lies of a stolen election. He was in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021 — the day a mob of fellow Trump supporters violently broke into the U.S. Capitol to try to block certification of President Joe Biden’s 2020 Electoral College victory.
“Trump just announced for 2024. I stand with him. I never conceded my HD 14 race. Now researching my options,” Peña tweeted in November. The tweet included a photo of Peña wearing a “Make America Great Again” sweatshirt with Trump flags in the background.
At a news conference on Monday, Albuquerque Police spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos described Peña as an “election denier” who “doesn’t want to accept the results of his election,” NBC News reported.
Gallegos added that Peña had meetings with some of the Democratic officials who were the targets of the shootings to complain about his loss.
“One actually led to quite an argument, I believe,” Gallegos said, according to NBC News. “It was shortly after that the shootings occurred.”
President Joe Biden and other Democratic officials have warned that Trump’s election lies pose a threat not only to democracy but to public safety, as they could inspire acts of political violence.
In a speech in November ahead of the 2022 election, Biden warned that election lies from “extreme MAGA” figures have inspired “a cycle of anger, hate, vitriol, and even violence.”
“My fellow Americans, we’re facing a defining moment, an inflection point. And we must — with one overwhelming, unified voice — speak as a country and say there is no place — no place — for voter intimidation or political violence in America, whether it’s directed at Democrats or Republicans,” Biden said in the speech.
In a tweet, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller referred to the shootings as “radicalism.”
“We will continue to push back against hate in all forms and stop political violence,” Keller tweeted.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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