Embattled Senate whip Padilla: ‘This is not who I am’

Michael Padilla

State Sen. Michael Padilla appeared unmoved Wednesday amid mounting calls for him to withdraw from the race for lieutenant governor over years-old harassment lawsuits.

A day after reports the Albuquerque Democrat was seeking the advice of family and friends on whether to continue his campaign, he sent a lengthy statement to reporters that sought to explain the allegations against him and started with a short declarative sentence: “Michael Padilla is a candidate for lieutenant governor.”

But some Democrats continued to distance themselves from their party’s Senate whip.