DONA ANA COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – A local New Mexico politician is getting called out for comments he made on Facebook. The County Commissioner had an exchange on Facebook with an organizer of a non-profit group. She says his comments were sexist and he’s not apologizing.
It all started when Dona Ana County Commissioner, John Vasquez, posted on his Facebook page on Thursday.
The post says, “I heard endorsements are coming out early, who do our elected officials think they are? It’s not up to them. It’s up to the voters.”
That post prompted Johana Bencomo, a community organizer for the non-profit group NM Cafe, to respond to the commissioner.
“I simply post, you know the very obvious question, and said commissioner, did you not recently endorse someone yourself?” she said.
She shared screenshots of the exchange, showing Commissioner Vasquez responded by saying, “I endorsed your mom, but that doesn’t mean anything. If you want to keep this going, let’s start.
It didn’t stop there.
“What came were some pretty disparaging, derogatory, sexist, and really inappropriate comments,” said Bencomo.
Commissioner Vasquez continued on saying, “They say you can take the girl out of the ghetto but…”
“I giggled a little that I had just read that. Then pretty immediately after, I became pretty upset,” Bencomo said.
KRQE News 13 tried to reach out to Commissioner Vasquez for comment. Although we didn’t hear back, he did post a response on his Facebook page.
He says if her feelings were hurt, then she should not get involved in political discussions. He says anyone who doesn’t like his Facebook posts, should unfriend him.
On a day where thousands of women are marching for their rights around the nation, Bencomo says it’s important to hold Commissioner Vasquez accountable.
“That is exactly the problem. The fact that he thinks it’s okay to speak to women, to constituents, anybody like this,” she said.
The Chairman for the Democratic Party of New Mexico say they expect elected officials to lead a professional and respectful dialogue at all times. Commissioner Vasquez’s comments are out of line and fall below this standard.
It appears things have been contentious between the non-profit and the County Commissioner in the past.
The former director of NM Cafe says she also had concerns over his conduct.