A controversial far-left New Mexico lawmaker who was previously told by a member of his own party to “f *** off” announced he would not stand for re-election, according to a report.
State Senator Jacob Candelaria, a Democrat representing Albuquerque, announced on Friday that he would not stand for re-election in 2024 as he plans to start a family with her husband, Kory Tillery, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported. A licensed attorney who has served in the state Senate since 2013, Candelaria is known to have challenged members of her own party, including Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.
“It’s been a beautiful chapter – it’s been incredibly rewarding – but it’s also incredibly demanding,” Candelaria said, explaining her decision to step down from state government. “At this point, I am happy to say that my husband and future children require my full attention. They have to come first, and I just can’t give what it takes to do the job anymore, honestly, and it’s time for someone else to step in and do it. “
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“We need more people challenging the status quo in this state because we should demand more from our government and its institutions,” he said. “We should demand more from elected people, and I think that as a private citizen, all of those people can expect me to be even more blunt in my views.”
Candelaria sparked controversy in March for forcing debate on Senate Bill 71, which would create the Patient Debt Collection Protection Act. Supporters of the bill have said it would protect low-income patients by prohibiting the collection of medical debts for those with incomes at 200% or less of the federal poverty line – but Candelaria argued it didn’t there was not enough protection for the poor.
“Why don’t we just get the hell out of it and put in an amendment like the rest of us?” Democratic majority leader Peter Wirth is said to have shouted at Candelaria for calling for a procedural move that would summon every member in the chamber to debate the legislation before it can be voted on.
“I’m heartbroken,” Candelaria told the Santa Fe New Mexican at the time, seemingly in tears after the heated exchange. “It’s a dark day for the New Mexico Senate.”
In June 2020, Candelaria reportedly broadcast live without a mask participating in the Black Lives Matter protests that swept through Albuquerque following the death of George Floyd. He offered free legal services to anyone detained or arrested during the riots, KOB reported.
Months later, in October 2020, Candelaria blasted hundreds of protesters, many of whom were seen waving flags supporting President Donald Trump, for rallying near the Statehouse. The protest aimed to denounce the governor’s continued restrictions during the pandemic and demand the reopening of the economy. At the time, New Mexico health officials banned gatherings of more than five people and made masks mandatory in public, with various restrictions for businesses.
After criticizing the protest during a television appearance, Candelaria claimed to have received a series of phone messages containing homophobic name-calling and slurs. A male interlocutor accused the state senator of not knowing what it means to be American and said “we’re going to get you out somehow.”
Candelaria claimed he waited 13 hours for New Mexico State Police to respond to his call reporting the alleged death threats.
The state Republican Party then released a video from one of the investigator’s backside cameras showing the state lawmaker as an “elitist” and “insulting and berating the police,” the police reported. Albuquerque Journal. He shows Candelaria inside her apartment asking the police to escort him and her husband to their car so that they can flee the city. Candelaria becomes frustrated and ends up ordering all the officers out.
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“You don’t have a warrant, you don’t have the power to be here. Get out,” Candelaria said as she closed the door.
Candelaria said he privately apologized for his treatment of the officers, but condemned the release of the video, saying “politicizing the terror that has befallen my family is the lowest of all. low, “KOB reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.