The signatures that Algin Mendez filed to qualify as a Democratic candidate for state representative from House District 46, where Democrat Rep. Carl Truillo is the incumbent, are being challenged in court.
Lina Germann, a resident of the district that includes north Santa Fe County and part of the city of Santa Fe, filed a court complaint alleging that many of Mendez’s signatures are invalid because people signed his petitions more than once, signed another candidate’s petition, aren’t registered Democrats, signed illegibly or aren’t registered voters.
To qualify to run in the June Democratic primary, District 46 candidates had to file nominating petitions with 104 signatures of registered Democratic voters in the district. Mendez turned in 183, but only 78 are legitimate, the complaint maintains.
Mendez couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.
He is a former State Police officer and Rio Arriba County sheriff’s deputy. He was fired from the State Police and was facing discipline at the sheriff’s office when he left. He’d been caught on surveillance video participating in a brawl at Buffalo Thunder Casino and Resort in Pojoaque.
Mendez resigned as a state Senate security guard at the state Capitol during this year’s legislative session after state Rep. Debbie Rodella, D-Española, accused him of harassing her. Rodella obtained a restraining order against Mendez.
Mendez denied the allegations and said he’d had problems with Rodella’s husband, Rio Arriba Sheriff Tommy Rodella, since the sheriff accused him of sleeping with his wife in 2009.
Trujillo is seeking his second term in District 46. There is no Republican candidate.