Commissioner responds to critique after online comments

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LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – Some people are demanding a New Mexico County Commissioner step down after comments he made about someone’s mother on Facebook.

However, the Democratic commissioner, John Vasquez, said he’s not sorry and in fact, he feels he’s owed an apology.

Thursday night at a commissioner’s meeting, a handful of Dona Ana county residents called for Vasquez to resign.

It started earlier in the week when he replied to a woman’s question on Facebook about who he endorsed in the governor’s race.

Vasquez replied “I endorsed your mom.” Then, he went onto imply that the woman and her family were “ghetto.”

“That’s why I called (his comments) sexist because they are and using commentary about the ghetto, that’s ‘racialized’ and that he only doubled down,” Johana Bencomo said.

Bencomo is the woman Vasquez was replying to on Facebook.

Vasquez admitted he mistook Bencomo’s mother for someone else when he was questioned by reporters, but refused to apologize.

“At this point, I feel that she owes me an apology for going to the media and smearing my name,” he said.

When reporters asked Vasquez to explain his comments about the ghetto, he replied “I judge people by the way the act and conduct themselves. I live in the ghetto myself. You can say that I’m ghetto, I live in the village of Doña Ana.”

Some people at Thursday night’s meeting also defended the commissioner saying he has a right to free speech.

Vasquez has only been in office for one year. His term ends in 2020.

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