89.9 FM Live From The University Of New Mexico
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Doña Ana County clerk sent evidence of online threats by Solomon Peña to FBI months ago

Gun Attacks Elected Officials
Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office
This undated photo provided by the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office shows Solomon Pena. Pena a 39-year-old felon who overwhelmingly lost his bid for the New Mexico statehouse as a Republican paid for four men to shoot at Democratic lawmakers' homes in recent months, including one where a 10-year-old girl was sleeping, police said. (Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office via AP)

A former Republican legislative candidate accused of coordinating recent shootings at the homes of several Democratic elected officials in Albuquerque is scheduled to be arraigned Friday morning. But an elections official says she reported him to the FBI last year--months before the attacks and his arrest.

Doña Ana County Clerk Amanda López Askin told KUNM’s Let's Talk New Mexico Thursday morning that she saw a threatening comment about her posted online by Solomon Peña in the late summer of 2022.

"Something along the lines of 'hang her until she's dead,'" she said.

The Democratic county clerk says she decided to report the comment to federal authorities.

"I went and did my research. I figured out it was him," she said. "I sent the screenshots to the FBI and that was kind of it."

López Askin says she never heard anything back from the FBI about her report.

A spokesman for the FBI's Albuquerque field office declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation into the shootings.

And a lawyer for Peña didn't respond to a message seeking comment.

The former legislative candidate has been indicted on 14 felony counts. He remains in jail while awaiting trial.

Meanwhile, López Askin says she was shocked by the shootings.

“We don't sign up for that. We know we get criticized. We know there are things people are not going to be happy with us about. We know that going in. But to expect safety is not too much to ask.”

The county clerk is now backing legislation to better protect election workers.

Related Content