Rancorous protesters so disrupted a Thursday event in which New Mexico’s Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham was supposed to announce her reelection bid that she was forced to cancel it with a dismissive insult to her opponents.
After taking the stage at the Albuquerque Museum’s outdoor amphitheater to cheers of “MLG,” the governor was met with protesters who drowned her out by yelling into megaphones, the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper reported.
In response, a mocking Grisham said with a laugh, “I know it’s going to be loud, and I just have to say I’m sorry that we picked the same location that the QAnon lizard people meeting was at.”
Still, she managed to make her announcement.
“In spite of that, I’m running for reelection for another four years. … We’re going to do what we do best,” she said. “We’re going to protect New Mexico, and no amount of noise will deter, intimidate or create a vacuum in leadership that makes a difference for every single New Mexican this day and every day. Can’t be done. Can’t be done.”
New Mexicans deserve a governor who will face their constituents in their frustration, not insult them. pic.twitter.com/7ivRagjQk4
— Republican Party of New Mexico (@NewMexicoGOP) June 4, 2021
The Democratic governor indicated in December she would seek another term, but she made it official this week with Thursday’s kick-off campaign event that was mightily heckled.
“The group screamed, yelled, booed, chanted, shouted and created a steady stream of noise with megaphones and what sounded like police sirens,” the paper reported.
Grisham came under fire last year during the COVID-19 pandemic for what critics called her overly restrictive lockdowns and business closures. In December, Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales — whose Albuquerque mayoral campaign event was disrupted this week by a man flying a drone carrying a sex toy — vowed not to enforce them.
“This year, my office listened to numerous citizens concerned about what have been categorized as ‘oppressive lockdown mandates’,” he said in a video posted to the department’s YouTube page. “I sympathize with the families, business owners, children and houses of worship to the point that they believe that their civil liberties are being compromised.”
Grisham was also criticized the previous month as she ordered more than a dozen grocery stores in the sparsely populated state closed around the Thanksgiving Day holiday over COVID-19 spikes, forcing residents to wait, sometimes for hours, in socially distanced lines to get into occupancy-limited big box stores for their needs.
The protest against Grisham on Thursday was organized, in part, by Leanna Derrick, a retired Albuquerque Public Schools teacher, the New Mexican reported.
“She put out her own advertisement saying she’s going to talk about her fine accomplishments and all the good things she’s done for New Mexico, and we are standing together because we disagree,” she told the paper. “We believe she was a mistake for New Mexico.”
She went on to describe her group as “constitutionalist New Mexicans.”
“Our Constitution has been marched all over because the World Health Organization and the pandemic has used emergency guidelines that overran our Constitution. We want our constitutional rights back,” she added.
Meanwhile, John Ramacciotti, 35, a firearms-carrying ICU nurse, wore a black-and-white t-shirt adorned with “FU MLG” and said that the group opposed to the Democratic mayor came from “all walks of life.”
“You have every type of race and religion and creed and different socioeconomic classes here,” he told the local paper. “These are people that all feel strongly that MLG has done a terrible job at running this state.”
He added that her COVID orders hurt the state, businesses, and children who were forced out of public schools.
“She’s being praised by [President] Biden for being one of the best people for locking down this country, and she’s being applauded for that, but we actually see that as tyranny because she actually forced people to not be able to work,” Ramaccoiotti added. “I feel like she really has hurt our people, our kids.”
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