ALBUQUERQUE, NM, Feb. 11, 2021 – Eddy Aragon, candidate to replace Deb Haaland to represent New Mexico’s first congressional district, said today that the New Mexico Republican Party is “doubling down on its unfair practices” by refusing to release video of a candidate debate held by Zoom call on Feb. 5.

During the debate, Aragon said he carries a gun because he “cannot rely upon the outmanned Albuquerque Police Department to keep my children safe from street gangs.” To illustrate his point, he lifted his pistol, a Glock 43, within view of his laptop camera, the gun safely pointed at the ceiling of his empty office, his trigger finger safely positioned along the barrel, outside of the trigger guard.

Janice Arnold Jones, a Republican State Central Committee member who attended the Zoom debate, and who lost the CD1 race in 2018, later said that she could not endorse Aragon because he had “brandished a weapon” on the Zoom call.

“This would be laugh-out-loud funny, if it didn’t trample the first two Constitutional freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights,” Aragon said. “I have a Second Amendment right to carry this sidearm, and I have a valid open carry permit issued by the state of New Mexico. I also have a First Amendment right to discuss why I carry a gun.”

Aragon’s campaign staff made multiple attempts to obtain a video of the Zoom call from the New Mexico GOP. The first two requests were ignored. The third received this reply from Bernalillo County Republican Chair, Julie Wright: “No, we did not record it.”

“If the Republican Party did not record the debate, they are incompetent,” Aragon said. “If they did, they are lying because they already have their secret ballot candidate picked, and they are scared that releasing the video will prove that I am the only qualified candidate.

“I suspect that we will see the ‘nonexistent’ video surface at some near date in the future,” Aragon continued. “It will be snowflake Republicans-in-name-only who try to use it against me. And in true Wile E. Coyote style, their attack will backfire.”

Stefani Lord, New Mexico Representative from District 22 and president of Pro-Gun Women, said of the meeting, “Eddy Aragon was thoughtful, articulate, and answered the questions like a patriotic conservative. Eddy answered two gun questions like a person who truly believes in the Second Amendment, and who understands that we have gun laws designed to punish legal gun owners, not criminals.”

Aragon, owner and host of Albuquerque radio station KIVA (ABQ.FM / 1600 AM / and popularly known as “The Rock of Talk,” is suing New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver to force a special election primary open to all voters.

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