By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE, N.M. – A longtime Democrat in the New Mexico House of Representatives apologized Wednesday for a blistering email he sent to fellow House members, urging opposition to two white Democratic candidates running against Hispanic candidates in the upcoming June 3 party primary.
In a portion of the email under the heading, “Treachery In Our Ranks,” Rep. Miguel Garcia, D-Albuquerque, called on members to support Andrew Barreras and Frank Otero in their respective primaries over fellow Democrats Jim Danner and Teresa Smith de Cherif in Valencia County.
“A minority of unsuspecting Democratic leaders are supporting the Democratic Anglo newcomer opponents in Andrew’s and Frank’s primary races. Anglo Democrats with egos as big as Texas, mouths as big as the Grand Canyon, and much ‘green’ (moolah) from the East and the West Coast,” the email said.
At first, Garcia did not apologize for the email, sending a text to KRQE-TV that said, “I did not send the email to the media. I have nothing to share regarding my email seeking support for two outstanding candidates.”
But news of the email spread quickly across the state and, Wednesday afternoon, Garcia apologized for making “inappropriate comments.”
Garcia also released an email he sent to Danner.
“I want to ask for your forgiveness regarding the negative manner in which I questioned your character or campaign pursuits,” Garcia wrote. “It is not in me to speak negatively of fellow Democrats, or anyone for that fact, that I am not personally acquainted with or familiar with. In my legislative career I pride myself on always taking the ‘moral high ground’ on issues of bigotry, discrimination, inequality, prejudice, intolerance, hatred — I faltered in reaching that in my email.”
Garcia did not apologize for the attacks he made on two incumbent Republicans in Valencia County and one incumbent Democrat who sometimes sides with Republican Gov. Susana Martinez in his original email.
In apparent reference to Rep. Sandra Jeff, D-Crownpoint, Garcia called Jeff “a renegade Democrat who licks the Governor’s (armpits).”
He referred to Rep. Kelly Fajardo, R-Belen, as a “loyal lapdog” of Martinez and wrote that Rep. Alonzo Baldonado, R-Los Lunas, “always falls in line every time Gov. Martinez snaps her blood-stained fingers.”
“I feel it’s pretty disgusting,” Jeff told New Mexico Watchdog. “I don’t think, as Democrats, that’s not our values. He should be ashamed. That’s a personal jab.”
Contact Rob Nikolewski at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @robnikolewski