Roberto E. Rosales/The Albuquerque Journal via AP
- A GOP candidate accused of plotting shootings at Democrats’ homes once called for political ‘civility.’
- In an August 2022 tweet while campaigning, Solomon Pena urged Democrats and Republicans to be civil.
- Albuquerque police accused Pena of being the ‘mastermind’ behind 4 shootings at Democratic officials’ homes.
A GOP candidate accused of hiring gunmen to shoot up Democratic officials’ homes once called for ‘civility’ between the political parties.
Solomon Pena — a 39-year-old Republican politician who lost his run for a New Mexico House of Representatives seat in November — was arrested Monday on suspicion of being the “mastermind” behind shootings at the homes of four elected Democrats.
Pena — a Trump supporter who described himself as “the MAGA King” — claimed fraud in the election that he lost by nearly 50 points, echoing the former president’s baseless claims of fraud in the 2020 election. Pena had approached politicians at their homes with what he claimed was proof before the shootings, police said.
Albuquerque Police Department police chief Harold Medina said in a press conference that police believe Pena hired gunmen in at least two of the incidents and may have pulled the trigger himself at one of the shootings.
Back in August 2022 while he was campaigning for the New Mexico election, Pena tweeted words of support for a Democratic state senator who was involved in a car crash, saying he wished for a “speedy recovery.”
“Even though I am a #Republican and he’s a democrat we can’t lose our civility towards one another,” his campaign account tweeted.
—Solomon Pena for NM (@SolomonPena2022) August 30, 2022
Police previously said that four shootings at elected Democrats’ homes took place from early December to early January.
Police said two county commissioners, a state senator, and the New Mexico House of Representatives speaker were targeted. No one was injured in the shootings, police said.
The city’s Democratic mayor called the shootings “politically motivated,” and accused Pena of being a “right-wing radical.”