Lapel video: Republican congressional candidate cited for not wearing a mask | KOB 4

Lapel video: Republican congressional candidate cited for not wearing a mask

Nathan O'Neal
Updated: July 15, 2020 09:44 AM
Created: July 14, 2020 06:52 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - She’s one of the first people to be cited for not wearing a mask in New Mexico’s capital city – and it turns out, she’s running for Congress.

Newly released video shows a defiant candidate, as Republican Alexis Martinez Johnson refused put on a mask while campaigning in the Santa Fe Plaza on July 3rd.


“The reason we’re here is that we got a call that you’re not wearing a face mask, so if you could kindly do me the honor of having your face mask especially when you’re interacting with people,” said the responding Santa Fe police officer.

The video shows officers offered the Congressional candidate a mask, but she refused.

Johnson: “Gentlemen, I’m not going to put a mask on – are you going to handcuff me? Take me away for not wearing a mask? … You’re going to have to cite me because I’m not going to put on a mask.”

Officer: “If you’re interacting with people, you need it.”

Johnson: “Write me the ticket.”

The encounter happened just days after the governor beefed up statewide rules for face coverings. However, in this instance the responding police officers enforced Santa Fe’s city ordinance.

That same week, city officials urged compliance.

“To me this is not about catching people doing something wrong, it’s about encouraging people to do something right – and that’s what we wanted to do,” said Randy Randall, executive director of Tourism Santa Fe.

As for Johnson, she had previously embraced face coverings and is pictured in photos before and after the incident sporting a mask. However, on July 3rd, Johnson was defiant.  

“This is a free country. This flag here is the one that you’re upholding and that’s the one that I’m upholding, so I do not support any kind of infringement on my constitutional rights – so you know, I’m not going to put a mask on,” Johnson told the officers.

Alexis Martinez Johnson’s campaign shared the following statement with KOB 4: 

"Alexis wears a mask often. That day she didn't feel like wearing one because it was hot, she was outdoors, and anyone close to her was voluntarily choosing to come to her table and ask questions about her campaign. The Constitution of the United States of America guarantees the right of free association. Anyone who thinks Alexis is in the wrong here needs a high school civics class."

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