On Friday, after the Mayor of heavily Democrat Española, Javier Sanchez, sent a scathing letter to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for making an example of the city for allegedly not wearing masks, Lujan Grisham released a half-hearted “apology.” But the attempt at reconciliation begs the question of why she isn’t apologizing to other communities she has belittled, such as Hobbs.
As Piñon Post first reported on, Lujan Grisham said during her presser, “Last week, I traveled to Northern New Mexico, and in traveling to Northern New Mexico, I went through Española. I saw a lot of activity in Española and traveling through Main Street going North. I didn’t see a single mask, not one. Not in a parking lot, not in a grocery store that we passed, not at a convenience store, not at a gas station, not by someone in a car, not hanging on a rearview mirror, not on a wrist, not as people were walking, nowhere! Not one. The only masks I saw were in the car I was in, and we have to do better than that because if we don’t, we cannot successfully introduce risk.”
Mayor Sanchez rebuked the Governor’s comments, writing in a letter, “Are we truly to believe that the governor slowed down enough to see into our dark tinted windows to find no masks hanging from rear view mirrors? At this rate of condescension, I would be very surprised if the governor’s vehicle even slowed down to a rolling stop at the red lights. How empty those words sound coming from behind the windows of an air-conditioned vehicle while peering in at us like we are children who haven’t cleaned our rooms.”
“My comments were taken as a lack of respect for Española and the work the community has done to fight this virus. I apologize for making that impression. That was not my intent, and I take responsibility for the way my words were conveyed and heard,” wrote Lujan Grisham.
“It is true that I did not see any masks that day on my way through town north and south, but that doesn’t mean I should have made the point that I did in the way I did it. If my intent was to highlight where we can improve and what we can do better, and it was, then I could have communicated that in a different way, and I should have,” she continued.
However, the Governor has refused to apologize for mercilessly ridiculing a restaurant in Hobbs, New Mexico, scolding them for allegedly not wearing masks. The snitch photo she presents looks to demean and criticize the small business that she claims were defying her health orders. But she praised Taos County for wearing masks, a county she won in 2018 with 81.5% of the vote.
But why did she hand-select Espanñola to send her apologies, while other rural communities still suffer from the ramifications of her shaming? The answer is simple: politics.
In 2018, Lujan Grisham won Rio Arriba County, where Española is, by a margin of 73% to 27%, or 46%. The county is also 84% Hispanic/Latino, and the criticism of the county may be seen as possibly racially-charged.
Hobbs, however, which is located in Lea County, is a Republican area, where she lost the county by massive numbers, losing by 55% in the county, or 22.2% to 77.8%. She has also gone after the Lea County Sheriff, having her Attorney General, Hector Balderas file a lawsuit against the department for visiting a local restaurant and eating indoors, a violation of her strict anti-indoor dining mandate. Lujan Grisham’s recent actions show yet again that she is ready and willing to pick on the entire state, while only apologizing for offense when the area she’s berating is heavily Democrat.