ALBUQUERQUE, NM, MARCH 1, 2021 – The federal attorney who is suing New Mexico’s Secretary of State to force open primaries in special elections has been targeted by a group of Democratic attorneys in a complaint to the New Mexico Bar Association.

On Feb. 19, former Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez and eight other Democratic attorneys complained to the New Mexico Bar Association Disciplinary Board that Michael Smith, a federal attorney in Dallas, violated professional ethics by filing a ‘frivolous’ lawsuit that challenged the 2020 election results.

“I am seriously questioning whether we will ever again have fair elections in America,” Smith said. “We are moving into a totalitarian regime like China’s, in which you do not question the government. We are in great danger here.”

Smith said the complaint had nothing to do with his 2020 lawsuit, but instead was payback for his suit this year to force open primaries in New Mexico’s special elections.

“Anyone who tries to stand up for fair elections is going to be beaten back,” Smith said. “They’re trying to make an example out of me: if you try to end election corruption in New Mexico, you will lose your livelihood.”

New Mexico was one of many states in which the 2020 election results were challenged in court. No complaints have been filed with any other state bar associations.

Smith was retained by Eddy Aragon, Albuquerque radio host and candidate to replace Deb Haaland as U.S. Representative for New Mexico’s first congressional district, to force an open primary for the upcoming special election for that seat. Currently, both the Democratic and Republican parties choose special election nominees through their central committees, in what Aragon called “back-room deals.

“They don’t want an election; they want an appointment,” Aragon said of both parties’ leadership.

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