Despite calls for his resignation from Gov. Susana Martinez and others in his own party, Bernalillo County Commissioner Michael Wiener says he’ll let voters decide his fate.
“While I may have exercised poor judgment while on vacation, I have broken no laws and brought no harm to anyone except for myself,” the Albuquerque Journal quoted the Republican as saying. “To suspend my campaign or step down from the office I was duly elected to would be tantamount to an admission that I had done something wrong when the fact is I have not.”
“There’s an election in 37 days and if the people at that time want to pick somebody else to represent them on the county commission, that’s certainly the way a democracy works that we all belong to,” KOB-TV quoted him as saying. “And I’m going to let the voters in my district speak rather than a few elected officials.”
Wiener was photographed posing with several scantily-clad women in a sex-tourism area in the Philippines by a photographer documenting sexual exploitation. The commissioner says he was simply walking through the area while on a flight layover.
Former Chamber of Commerce Chairman Lonnie Talbert is running against Wiener in the June primary and was endorsed last week by the governor. No Democrats are in the race.
Others calling for Wiener to resign include Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, most of Wiener’s colleagues on the county commission and the Albuquerque Journal editorial board.