Solomon Pena, a 19-time convicted felon, bobbed and weaved as I questioned him about his candidacy for the state House of Representatives.

It was August, and Pena felt the heat. His record included a term of almost seven years in prison for burglary, larceny, receiving stolen property and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Though he’s a Republican, Pena knew he couldn’t sell himself as another tough-talking candidate for law, order and extra-long prison sentences. Pena needed a different strategy in New Mexico, even though I rate it as the most corrupt state in America.

Ringside Seat is an opinion column about people, politics and news. Contact Milan Simonich at or 505-986-3080.

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