When someone shoots at Linda Lopez’s house, here’s the truth: She doesn’t even know it, and she There. Lopez lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The shooting took place on January 3. That night, she stayed up with the kids before they all went to bed. It was about 1 a.m. when Lopez heard the explosion. She thought she knew what they were: fireworks.
Lopez’s 10-year-old daughter, Cherish, walked into her room. Cheresh has his own theories about what woke her up. She thought maybe a spider had plopped on her face? They’ve had spiders before. She knew what she felt. “She said she felt like she had some sand or dirt on her face and nose,” Lopez said. “I told her, ‘Honey, maybe mom needs to clean the fan over the bed.’ I’m not the best housekeeper in the world, so I figured that might be what needed to happen.”
Then, they went back to sleep.
“About 6:30, a quarter past 7, I woke up and started turning on the light in the bathroom. I looked over to my bed, and on the wall, you could see what was going on. There was a Hole. Then I looked to the left and there was a hole in the closet door – 12 bullet holes in total. My daughter’s room is next door to mine. And the trajectory of the bullet, if she was sitting all the time, it could have grazed her head .”
Seeing the damage inside, Lopez donned a robe and slippers and stepped to the front. That’s when she saw the garage also being swept by bullets. So she pulled out her cell phone and called for help. Lopez is a state senator, so she knows how to get the police chief on the phone. “Within 30 minutes, the police arrived and I had to wake the kids up because they were still asleep.”
Lopez has worked in politics for nearly 30 years. I asked her when it occurred to her that what happened might be politically motivated. “I’ve been getting threats over the years, maybe by email or someone would leave a message on my home phone number. But it never rose to that point,” Lopez said. “When I was talking to the chief of Medina that morning, I vividly remember him saying, ‘Well, you’re the third.’ The homes of two county party clerks were also bombed.”
On Thursday’s What Next show, I spoke with Linda Lopez about how a series of brazen partisan attacks in New Mexico made her rethink what it means to work in the aisle. Our conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity.
Mary Harris: immediately state Forest. Linda Lopez realized that other politicians were being attacked, and she started contacting them.It didn’t take long for her to realize that it wasn’t three Democrats who were shot.; it is Four. For a brief moment, no one knew exactly why. but soon, that changed. finally, Police eventually tracked down a man named Solomon PenA sort of, who recently ran for country huse Rrepresentative of the republicans, and lost.wearna refuses to budge and accepts Twitter Claims the election was rigged.
Authorities now say Pena Four men were hired to carry out these shootings, Targeting district Democrats. In addition to Lopez and the two county governors, SecondTate rRepresentative named Javier MartexistNez was also attacked at home.Lopez was hit last, PenA was allegedly personally involved in the shooting.He was arrested on JOne. 16. When Solomon Pena was arrested, you be surprised?
Linda Lopez: Just be grateful. Appreciate that someone can and will take responsibility for what happened. To be honest, I still have a lot of questions. For our county commissioners — our county commissioners are the entities that certify election results, so I kind of get it. For those who deny the election, they first go to the institution that certifies the election results. But where am I coming from in this picture? why me? Why my family?
yesyou tell my producer That basically you Know him because he has a big billboard near your house, and that’s where it begins and ends.
Yes, that’s it. This is a main road from the west side of Albuquerque to the east side, crossing the Rio Grande. You’ll see the big billboards for Solomon Peña running for the House district, I see it every day. That was the closest I got to meeting Mr. Peña or knowing who he was. Of course, he was running against Rep. Miguel Garcia. But the Senate constituency where Mr Pena lives is not in my Senate constituency. So for me, I’ve been trying to piece together why it’s me.
Looks like Pe to mena is a different candidate. He called himself the MAGA King, and his candidacy generated enough controversy that other Democrats took notice.actually represent. Miguel Garcia has tried to do this so that Pena Cannot serve if elected. So it looks like he’s kind of getting people’s attention.
Most of us knew the news when Rep. Garcia sued in court to remove Mr. Peña from the ballot. That’s when his background became more public.
wearnThe background of a is controversial for many reasons.he claimed to have participated in riots at the Capitol in January. 6, for example.But it’s not just because he’s an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump; He also has an extensive criminal record.He gets seven years in prison for string of big box store robberies, Democrats Have The argument should have disqualified him from serving.In his district, critics return Calling him an overly aggressive campaigner, urging voters to change their party affiliation to vote for him. But the judge ultimately ruled that Pena can stay in the game.
What I’ve seen over the years is that judges are very reluctant to take someone off the ballot.
Final Penone lost his legislative race byes A sort of important margin, It seems to be about 50 points.
correct. The district he’s running as a Republican is a solidly Democratic district. Frankly, I think he already knows what the outcome will be.
One thing that is weird to me is that right after he was involved in the shooting at your houseSolomon Pena Elected to the leadership position of the County Republican Party-A sort of county magistrate.
Yes. Our county is divided into wards. In a special Republican district, he got elected, which is ridiculous. I hope the Bernalillo County Republican Party will remove him at this time. But the Republican response to the state — it’s interesting. They are waiting until he is proven guilty. I am grateful for the District Court judge’s decision that he will remain behind bars until the trial begins. However, this should be an automatic removal of the ward chairperson. So to be determined. Let’s see what they’re really going to do.
Have any of your fellow Republicans reached out to you to talk about your experience?
I did have several legislators who did contact me and express their disgust at what happened. I really appreciate the outreach that does happen. I know the Senate Republicans did hold a press conference and mentioned something to the effect that it was unnecessary and so on. But that’s the scope for now.
I wonder if you ever thought about saying, like, “I really appreciate your input. What are you going to do now?“
This is part of the conversation that still needs to happen – at the national level. This happened in New Mexico, yes, but it happened elsewhere across the country. It’s not just localized. You can look at the governor of Michigan. You can look at our secretary of state in New Mexico, he’s been threatened. You can look at other secretaries of state who have also been threatened over the whole election denial issue. This is what happened on January 6th. It’s a bigger problem across the country. It’s not just limited to New Mexico. It’s a bigger thing. I truly believe this is a fundamental problem with maintaining our democracy. As I said before, I take an oath to uphold the Constitution of the country. I also take an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. Obviously the National Republican Party — they’ve got a problem. People across the country can’t control it, so what should we do at the local level?
there is a detail about Linda Lopez (Linda Lopez) can not escape the attack on her home.it’s about how simple Things could have gotten worse, worse.Authorities now claim Solomon Peina He came to Lopez’s home because he thought the previous shootings were not violent enough.According to reports, he brought his own automatic arms.
I’m not that familiar with guns, but he basically had a gun with a huge magazine in it that jammed when he fired at our house. If that gun hadn’t jammed, the situation would have been very different.
TonHis details linger because it’s so connected to her work—wOr she’s not done yet.
I’ve introduced and co-sponsored in the past legislation on reducing crash inventory and all that stuff. I also just did it again at this meeting.
Gun control legislation.
We cannot continue like this. This is an epidemic in this country. We have to get to a point where we cannot and should not use guns as the ultimate response. Even for me, I’ve had people come up to me and say, “Well, why don’t you go get some guns right now so you can protect yourself.” It’s kind of a mantra. I said, “No, I’m not going to do that.” There are other ways. I believe we can have a discussion. But just because there are so many shootings these days, you have to arm yourself to protect yourself and your family and protect your property. That’s the whole radicalization of guns. Yes, the Constitution assures us of this, but how far can we go. I will learn more as time goes on as it hits home, very close to home.
With all of this in mind, I wonder if you approach work any differently now, Especially since what’s going on has a lot to do with your work.
I keep my eyes open and watch my back to make sure I know where the kids are and they know where I am. My neighbors too — I’ve noticed the changes we’re all registering. I think that’s the most important thing we can do because I also believe part of this strategy is bringing fear into the mix. Fear has no place in my family. Fear has no place in our community. They won’t win at this point. Fear will not win if this is part of the intentions of Mr. Peña and his colleagues, or anyone else connected to this action taking place in our community.
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Are you sleeping in your house again?
Oh yes. I try to keep my family normal because I don’t want the fear to take over.
What’s the hardest question your daughter asks you?
Two of them, I’d say. She did ask, “Why us, Mom?” The second thing she repeated was when she said, “I’m lucky.” When a 10-year-old can do that — because in my world , the 10 year old should be a little bit happier and think about a lot of other things – because she’s going to think about that and ask me those questions and it gives me a challenge as a mom trying to figure out how we can fix this. We do it one day at a time. We are still processing it, it will take a while. Tomorrow will not end. Next week won’t end. It takes time. But we will get there.we will get There.