SANTA FE, N.M. – A rising star in the Democratic Party who has garnered national attention for tackling poverty in New Mexico is fighting for his political future amid decade-old allegations he sexually harassed women.
Democratic state Sen. Michael Padilla is facing calls to drop his bid for New Mexico lieutenant governor after The Associated Press began asking elected officials about the cases.
Two federal lawsuits say Padilla harassed women while managing an Albuquerque emergency call center in 2006.
The city ended up settling claims linked to a sexually hostile work environment. Padilla has long denied the accusations.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who’s running for New Mexico governor, said last week that Padilla should exit the lieutenant governor race because of the old cases.
At least two female political leaders have pulled endorsements.