Home News Local News New Mexico members of congress, candidates condemn political violence

New Mexico members of congress, candidates condemn political violence

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Mick Rich, candidate for U.S. Senate. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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New Mexico congressional elected officials and both candidates in the race for governor condemned political violence Wednesday, after reports that law enforcement discovered packages containing explosive devices were sent to CNN and leading Democrats.

“This politically motivated violence has no place in the United States. We all have a responsibility to condemn these despicable tactics and to set a better example for the nation,” New Mexico U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, a Democrat, said in a tweet Wednesday afternoon.

The statement came the same day suspicious packages with explosive devices — addressed to the former President Barack Obama’s Washington D.C. home and the Chappaqua, New York home that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shares with former President Bill Clinton — were intercepted by the Secret Service.

Neither Obama nor the Clintons were in danger of coming into contact with the packages due to Secret Service screening procedures.

A similar package addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan — that contained a live explosive and an envelope of white powder — was removed from CNN’s New York office. A fourth package meant for former U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder had the wrong address and was forwarded to the office of Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat.

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Law enforcement said all six packages were manilla envelopes bearing six stamps and filled with bubble wrap interior and a return address of Wasserman Schultz.

Steve Pearce, Republican candidate for New Mexico governor and congressman in the New Mexico 2nd Congressional District — which includes Roswell — said in a statement that all political violence is “anti-American.”

“Mailing bombs and shooting at people are terrorist acts whether they are aimed at public figures or private citizens,” Pearce said in the statement. “Law enforcement must track down those responsible and bring them to justice swiftly.”

Pearce’s Democratic opponent Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is also the U.S. Representative in New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District — also called for people to unite against violence.

“I strongly condemn these acts of political violence on our nation’s leaders and the press. I urge extreme caution and call on the authorities to take every action necessary to bring these terrorists to justice. At a time of deep political and partisan divide, we must remember that we are one nation. We must rise above these despicable acts of political violence and terror,” Lujan Grisham said in a press release.

“We must be united in condemning these acts of terror. Thank you to law enforcement for their heroic work today and every day,” Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, a Democrat who represents New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District tweeted.

Two of the candidates in New Mexico’s three-way U.S. Senate race released statements about the devices found.

In a tweet, Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor and Libertarian candidate for the U.S. Senate, stated that it is beyond disturbing that someone would send explosive devices to media outlets and public figures.

“Whatever the agenda, if there is one, this is not how we do it in America,” Johnson said in the tweet.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mick Rich said in a statement that having more people in Congress who can work with people they disagree with, could help reduce the heated rhetoric and acts of violence.

He said the problem goes beyond Wednesday’s incidents and includes other episodes such as a shooting at a congressional baseball practice last year — which left House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La, wounded — and recent public confrontations of Republican leaders.

“I call on all members of Congress, from both parties, to denounce these acts and this rancor, and I look forward to being a sane voice in Washington for all New Mexicans,” Rich said in the statement.

The office of Democratic incumbent Sen. Martin Heinrich, who is running for re-election this November, did not respond to a request for comment before deadline Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.