A Democratic state rep candidate says she was told she couldn’t have her campaign launch party at a local brewery. She believes it’s because of her party affiliation, but the brewery says there’s more to the story.
The party was supposed to take place at Cloudcroft Brewing Company on Wednesday night, but it was called off after the owners learned it was for a campaign launch party.
“If they have a policy against doing political parties, or events whatever, that’s fine. I just wish we would’ve known beforehand, and I would’ve absolutely have gone and done something else,” said Jennifer Gose, candidate for House Representative District 54.
Gose says when she first picked the brewery to host the launch months ago, there were no issues. Then, she went to go post flyers around town for the event last week.
“At that point, that’s when we realized it was a political event,” said Matt Willett, co-owner of Cloudcroft Brewing Company.
Cloudcroft Brewing Company says they don’t host events with political ties. They say Gose wasn’t forthcoming about the nature of her reservation, which she denies, so the brewery canceled it.
“It was kind of shady, the whole deal. And so we decided, you know what, instead of getting involved with this we’re just gonna not be a part of it,” said Willett. “It’s not a Democrat thing, it’s not a Republican thing. That’s just our policy at the brewery.”
Gose says she believes it’s because she’s a Democrat, which the brewery denies, and she says she was open from the beginning about the nature of her event. “This has only strengthened my resolve. You get little hiccups along the way, so what happens next is we’re going to go bigger,” added Gose.
About 50 people were supposed to attend the event.
Gose says she plans to reschedule her launch party at another venue soon, and will possibly add locations in Artesia, Carlsbad and Roswell.
It’s not against the law for a company to turn away business for political reasons. If Gose wins her primary next year, she’d be in line to face Republican-incumbent Jim Townsend in the district that covers parts of Otero, Eddy and Chaves counties.