Crissy Kantor’s Former Fiancé Gave Campaign Cash to Alleged Mastermind Behind Shootings Targeting Democrats
Jay Block Financially Supported New Mexico House of Representatives Candidate Solomon Peña
Sandoval County New Mexico Commissioner Jay Block, the former fiancé of Manchester, New Hampshire aldermanic candidate Crissy Kantor, donated money to the political campaign of Solomon Peña, the alleged mastermind behind the drive-by shootings of the residences of Democratic politicians that shocked New Mexico in December 2022 and January 2023.
“Jay Block, a commissioner in Sandoval County who ran as a 2022 gubernatorial candidate but lost in the Republican primary, donated $104.10 to Peña, in September, according to campaign finance records.” — Source New Mexico
The contribution was made after Block lost his bid to win the 2022 Republican nomination for governor of New Mexico. During the Block gubernatorial campaign, Crissy Kantor was described as his fiancée.
Jay Block came in a distant fourth in the five-person race, gathering just 10.6% of the Republican vote. The winner of the Republican primary, Mark Ronchetti, lost the general election to incumbent Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat.
The Albuquerque police arrested self-styled “MAGA King” Solomon Peña in January 2023 for allegedly hiring four men to shoot up the homes of Democratic politicians. One of the targeted Democrats was Javier Martinez of Albuquerque, who was to become the Speaker of the New Mexico House of Representatives.
Another target was Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley.
According to Source NM, the shooting at O’Malley’s home took place on December 16th. A police department affidavit reveals that O’Malley told investigators that “Peña had been at her home a day or two earlier and that he was ‘upset that he had not won the election.’”
On January 3rd, Rep. Linda Lopez’s home on Bernalillo County was targeted by gunfire, likely by a fully automatic weapon.
A 10-year-old girl was sleeping in one of the homes hit by gunfire
An hour later, police arrested Jose L. Trujillo in a routine traffic stop five miles from Lopez’s home. Trujilo’s car lacked a registration sticker.
Police found drugs and weapons in the car.
The 21 year old Trujilo was a major contributor to Peña’s campaign and was one of the four men allegedly hired by Peña to terrorize Democratic politicians.
One of the other three men was Trujilo’s father.
Solomon Peña was a Donald Trump supporter and an election denier who went so far to claim that his own landslide loss in race for the New Mexico State House of Representatives was was due to the election being “rigged” and he was the victim of election fraud.
As a Sandoval County Commissioner, Jay Block twice voted against certifying election results in 2022, after the June primary and after the November general election.
Block is affiliated with the election denial group the New Mexico Audit Force, a volunteer organization created by David and Erin Clements, who claim that Donald Trump was elected president in 2020.
The Clements led a door-to-door “audit” in Otero County, New Mexico in 2020, despite Donald Trump winning the county by 25 points. There were complaints that some of the Audit Force volunteers allegedly pretended o be county officials when going door-to9door asking voters questions, according to the New Mexico State Auditor.
The U.S. House Oversight Committee investigated the incident, to determine whether the intent of the audit was to intimidate Hispanic voters.
Active during the 2022 elections in which Jay Block lost his bid for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, the New Mexico Audit Force focused on mobilizing voters to lobby county commissioners and clerks to investigate the organization’s own claims of voter fraud.
Those claims typically are unfounded. The aim is to disrupt the political process, according to Audit Force critics.
The Audit Force opposes voting machines and calls for New Mexico to implement a system of paper ballots, to be counted by people.
New Mexico’s The Paper reports that, “Commissioner Jay Block has long been a supporter of the New Mexico Audit Force and has been vocal about his support of hand-counted ballots. Block was the sole commissioner not to certify the 2022 Primary Election Results in June.”
This, then, was the environment in which Solomon Peña, with Jay Block’s financial support, contested an election against a Democratic incumbent, and then claimed his loss by a 74–26% landslide was a result of fraud.
According to CBS News, detectives in Albuquerque were investigating Peña’s campaign contributions.
The Albuquerque Police Department issued a statement saying, “Detectives are working with other law enforcement agencies to determine whether the money for the campaign contributions were generated from narcotics trafficking, and whether campaign laws were violated.”
Jay Block Supported a Convicted Felon
Solomon Peña served seven years in prison for burglary and five years on supervised probation.
After he finished his parole, Peña regained the right to vote and registered as as a Republican. In 2022, he challenged incumbent Miguel Garcia, a Democrat representing Albuquerque in New Mexico House District 14.
Garcia went to court to challenge Peña’s candidacy, since the Republican was a convicted felon. The court ruled that the state law forbidding convicted felons from holding elective office was unconstitutional.
A reasonable person would assume that Jay Block, who decided to support Solomon Peña financially, knew about this court case, and thus knew that his chosen candidate was a convicted felon.
In an interview with the Associated Press, New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez said, “I think we are really entering a new era where political rhetoric has gotten so heated and people with mental health issues or extreme conspiratorial viewpoints on the world have resorted to political violence.”