SANTA FE, N.M. — In a story Dec. 19 about accusations that a New Mexico gubernatorial candidate attempted to kiss a woman at a social event, The Associated Press reported erroneously the name of the accuser’s employer. Marianna Anaya works for the Albuquerque Teachers Federation, not the American Federation of Teachers.
A corrected version of the story is below:
New Mexico woman says candidate tried to kiss her
A political supporter of Democratic New Mexico gubernatorial candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham says a rival candidate attempted to kiss her on the mouth at a work-related social event
SANTA FE, N.M. — A political supporter of Democratic U.S. Congresswoman and New Mexico gubernatorial candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday accused a rival candidate of attempting to kiss her on the mouth at a social event.
Marianna Anaya of Albuquerque said that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jeff Apodaca tried to kiss her on the mouth earlier this year at a whiffle ball game in Santa Fe that brought together staff from the Democratic Party and a labor union.
“While shaking hands after the game, Jeff — who I didn’t know was Jeff at the time — came up to me totally smelling of beer and tried to kiss me on the lips,” she said.
Apodaca campaign spokesman Eric J. Martinez called the allegation absolutely false and an attempt to divert attention from claims that Lujan Grisham discriminated against a transgender intern.
Insurance agent Laurie Martinez, of no relation to Eric, said she attended the whiffle ball event and disputed Anaya’s account. She has known Apodaca since 1979.
“I was there and I’ve never seen Jeff act in an inappropriate way,” she said.
Anaya, 28, is a communications organizer for the Albuquerque Teachers Federation. In a Facebook post, she criticized Apodaca for seeking an investigation of Lujan Grisham for possible discrimination.
Elaborating on her concerns, Anaya called it hypocritical and opportunistic of Apodaca to criticize Lujan Grisham about workplace issues given his behavior toward her at the whiffle ball game.
Apodaca is a former media executive whose father served as governor in the 1970s. On Monday, he called on U.S. House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to investigate claims that Lujan Grisham discriminated against an intern.
Riley Del Rey says she was fired from her internship with Lujan Grisham three years ago over her transgender identity and was coming forward with her story because of the wave of news reports about harassment and discrimination.
Lujan Grisham says neither she nor her office would discriminate against anyone.