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GOP candidate who lost his election arrested for shootings at homes of New Mexico Democrats

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A former Republican candidate for the state House in New Mexico was arrested this weekend and accused of orchestrating a series of shootings at the homes of four Democratic politicians.

Solomon Pena lost his bid in the 2022 midterms for New Mexico’s 12th district to Democrat incumbent, Rep. Miguel Garcia, who has held the seat since 1997. In the wake of the election, a series of shootings were carried out at the homes of two state representatives and two county commissioners, all of whom are Democrats.

The shootings occurred in mid-December. This week, Albuquerque police announced they had arrested Pena in connection with the shootings.

No one was injured in the planned attacks, but the Democratic legislators reported shots fired at their houses and found bullet holes in their homes. 

According to officials, Pena is a vehement election denier, having visited the homes of some of the intended victims prior to the shootings to argue that his midterm loss was due to election fraud. The New Mexico Secretary of State shows Garcia won the election with 74 percent of the vote, compared to Pena’s 26 percent. 

Police say Pena conspired with four other men to carry out the shootings, giving them specific instructions, but that Pena himself pulled the trigger of at least one weapon in at least one of the shootings.

“After the election in November, Solomon Peña reached out and contracted someone for an amount of cash money to commit at least two of these shootings,” police said.

Pena had previously served time in prison for his role in a “smash and grab” robbery, but a judge allowed him to stay on the midterm ballot ahead of the November elections in spite of his history.

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