The day after a counter-protester was killed at a Virginia white nationalist rally, a southern New Mexico politician wrote on social media that “violent, leftist protesters” were “getting exactly what they asked for.”
Reached by phone Sunday afternoon, Doña Ana Republican Party Chairman Roman Jimenez said the Facebook post was “taken completely out of context.” He would not answer additional questions and said he would send a written statement, which the Journal had not received by Sunday evening.
“Their own racism, hate and violence has created the divide amongst those that refuse to be bullied on anymore,” Jimenez wrote in the post. “They’re getting exactly what they asked for. A segregated society of groups that they’ve created and even labeled themselves.”
The Doña Ana Republican Party commented on the Facebook post to clarify that the original message “has nothing to do with the Charlotte [sic] riots. I’m speaking about leftist violence across the country. Murder by Anyone is inexcusable.”
The Dona Ana Republican Party commented on the Facebook post to clarify that the original message “has nothing to do with the Charlotte [sic] riots. I’m speaking about leftist violence across the country. Murder by Anyone is inexcusable.”
The party also commented: “Of course I condemn white supremacists and any associated violence. Just like the left to get all riled up and violent over something taken completely out of context. The left wants segregation and separation. Just read the posts here.”
Jimenez retired as a captain from New Mexico State Police, and he now works for the private security firm International Protective Service, Inc., according to that company’s website. He says in his biography on the site that he served as the commander of Governor Susana Martinez’s security detail. According to the Las Cruces Sun-News, he unsuccessfully ran for Doña Ana county commissioner in 2016.
The post has since been deleted, but not before it sparked outrage on social media and several calls for resignation.
State party Chairman Ryan Cangiolosi said the Republican Party of New Mexico “fully repudiates the statement made by Roman Jimenez, which does not reflect the views of the Republican Party of New Mexico or the Republican Party of Doña Ana County.”
And in a separate statement, Cangiolosi said the party was “deeply saddened by the horrific and tragic events” in Charlottesville.