Facing what news outlets described as “heavy criticism for his treatment of women and calls from top leaders in his own party to resign, Doña Ana County Commissioner John Vasquez stepped down on Thursday.”
Vasquez had faced direct actions from residents at the two most recent county commission meetings after he engaged in an “inappropriate” conversation with a local activist on Facebook wherein he made “your momma” jokes as well as using racist and misogynist language.
Just hours after the most recent county commission meeting, news broke that Vasquez was being accused of “inappropriate sexual misconduct” by a woman within the Democratic Party of New Mexico. Vasquez denied the accusations but in his resignation letter admitted he needs to “focus on my marriage.”
While Vasquez is a registered Democrat, he has not always voted or spoken in ways that reflected those values, often maligning “progressives” especially. At the first public meeting at which his accusers openly called for his resignation, he used his Commissioner input time on the dais to openly call for so-called Right to Work laws at the local level. His actions both confirmed and accused prompted top leaders from around the state to join the call for his resignation.
Governor Susana Martinez will now be able to appoint someone to fill Vasquez’ seat. And while it’s likely she’ll choose a Republican to fill the vacancy, there are still three Democrats on board holding a slim majority.
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