Months before the November election, Mr. Garcia asked a New Mexico court to bar Mr. Peña from appearing on the ballot because of the convictions, according to The Albuquerque Journal. The court ruled in Mr. Peña’s favor, saying that a state law that bars felons from holding office unless they are pardoned by the governor was unconstitutional.
As for the recent shootings, the police said on Monday that their investigation would continue.
Kyle Hartsock, deputy commander of the Police Department’s homicide unit, said on Monday that the police “have somebody who is involved inside this conspiracy who is talking to police.” That person, he said, helped confirm that Mr. Peña was at the Jan. 3 shooting.
Mr. Hartsock said that Mr. Peña had hired others to carry out at least two of the shootings, and that Mr. Peña had texted the addresses of the shootings, in one case just hours before the shooting took place. The continuing investigation would involve “more warrants and interviewing more persons,” Mr. Hartsock said.
“We’re not at the end yet,” he added.
The police said in their statement that search warrants were executed on Monday “at the home of two of the men who were allegedly paid” by Mr. Peña.
Mr. Peña’s arrest comes amid a recent increase in threats and attacks against elected officials from both parties, and is yet another illustration of the danger that elected officials in the United States face as violent political speech increasingly crosses the line into in-person confrontation.
Last year, an armed man who had repeatedly showed up outside the Seattle home of Representative Pramila Jayapal was charged with stalking. A visitor smashed a storm window at Senator Susan Collins’s home in Bangor, Maine. And an intruder broke into the San Francisco home of Representative Nancy Pelosi and attacked her husband, Paul Pelosi, with a hammer.
But Mr. Peña’s case is different, at least in part, because he had been a political candidate until just weeks before the New Mexico shootings took place.