A political supporter of Democratic U.S. Rep. 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 wiffle ball game in Santa Fe that brought together staff from the Democratic Party and the American Federation of Teachers.
“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.
Anaya, 28, is a communications organizer for the American Federation of Teachers. 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 wiffle 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.