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Vulgar gesture marks Archuleta's victory in New Mexico

November 20, 2012|John M. Glionna

In the dog-eat-dog world of U.S. political campaigns, there are graceful winners.

And then there is New Mexico state lawmaker Phillip Archuleta.

The newly elected representative is under fire after a video was posted on YouTube showing him on election day flashing a vulgar gesture to a campaign worker for his opponent.

In the video, the 63-year-old Democrat, who won the District 36 House seat by defeating incumbent Andy Nunez, also is heard threatening a photographer while at a polling station.

“I’m actually not surprised. I know the guy, and this is the kind of person he is,” Nunez told the Los Angeles Times when asked about the incident.

Nunez said a college-age supporter was standing on a street holding a campaign sign when Archuleta pulled up alongside and gestured.

Archuleta, who won elective office for the first time, then told the young man shooting the footage to “get that camera out of my face” or “I’m going to take it off and stick it up your butt.”

“Aw, come on,” the unidentified photographer responds. “That’s not appropriate.”

An Archuleta campaign aide then gets between the two.

Archuleta on Monday told reporters that he regretted his actions and should have been more professional. “I regret it and I apologize about it,” he said.

But Nunez said he had yet to hear from his opponent.

"He ran a dirty campaign and so I don’t really expect to,” he told The Times. “Me, I’d probably have been a little more grown up. Here’s some college kid holding a sign and you drive up and tell him to stick it up his whatchamacallit?”

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