According to multiple sources, Phoenix-based consultant James Hallinan, a conservative Democrat, passed away on Thursday.
Hallinan made headlines in New Mexico after he claimed that in 2018 then-U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is now governor, poured water over his crotch area and groped him in front of multiple witnesses.
Lujan Grisham’s campaign subsequently paid Hallinan $150,000 after the allegations surfaced ahead of her 2022 reelection campaign.
Political blogger Joe Monahan posted on Twitter Friday, “NM political consultant James Hallinan is dead at 40.” A quote from his sister Marisa read, “With much sadness we share that our beloved and brilliant brother and son James Hallinan died on Thursday. At this time of deep sadness we thank you for your conveyed sentiments and support.”
Monahan noted, “No cause given” regarding his cause of death.
“In lieu of a formal ceremony, we ask that those who knew him spend time celebrating his life in a way that honors the joyous times you spent with him,” Hallinan’s sister wrote.
Brett Kokinadis, a former Republican Party of Santa Fe County officer, wrote on Twitter, “Waiting for confirmation, but James Hallinan is rumored to be deceased. Did you have anything to do with it Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham? I sure hope not!”
Albuquerque City Council candidate Dr. Joseph Pitluck Aguirre wrote in response to one of Hallinan’s tweets mourning the death of Eric Witt, a former Lujan Grisham official, “Rest in peace James.”
The post from Hallinan made on July 17, 2023, was his last post to the network.
Before that, the former Lujan Grisham staffer wrote on Twitter, “The level of corruption and abuse is at an all-time high in New Mexico. I’m still shocked, but I guess I shouldn’t be at this point.”
Hallinan previously had death threats made against him, as reported in October 2022.
At the time, Hallinan said, “I just need to make sure we’re documenting some of these death threats, ’cause I say it, and everybody, it’s like nobody is paying attention. I don’t know who this lady is, but I got all the screenshots,” referencing a threat from someone named “Angel” on social media.
He told the Santa Fe New Mexican, “I’m tired,” he said Thursday. “I’m tired of the continued death threats on social media and everybody trying to muscle me. I’m real tired of it. They’ve pushed me too far.”
As more details come out, the Piñon Post will keep our readers up to date on the latest from the situation.