AP NEWS

New Mexico state senator challenger also has DWI conviction

January 3, 2020 GMT

ESPANOLA, N.M. (AP) — A leading challenger of an embattled New Mexico state senator convicted of drunken driving has acknowledged he also has a DWI conviction from his younger years.

Rio Arriba County Commissioner Leo Jaramillo has challenged state Sen. Richard Martinez for his seat in the Democratic primary, KOB-TV reported Thursday.

Martinez, 67, was found guilty last month of aggravated drunken driving and reckless driving, officials said.

Jaramillo said he was charged in 1996 when he was 18.

In a statement, Jaramillo said he took responsibility for his actions as a college freshmen.

Martinez was found guilty of aggravated drunken driving and reckless driving in connection with a June car crash. Police said Martinez’s car hit another vehicle that was stopped at a red light, injuring Martinez and two people in the stationary vehicle.

Martinez has stepped down from Senate leadership roles but refused to step down from his seat.