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Embattled New Mexico Democratic Party chairman resigns

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ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The embattled chairman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico has resigned.
Richard Ellenberg announced his resignation in a letter Tuesday following a state party convention where he was accused of questioning the credibility of sexual misconduct allegations against a union leader.

Ellenberg also had faced criticism for his response to a Democratic Party of New Mexico vice chair's claim that she was a target of unwanted sexual advances by a party official.

Ellenberg says he regretted the way he managed complaints of women who have come forward about sexual harassment.

Other say Ellenberg oversaw a "slanted" process over delegates that favored certain candidates this weekend.
The resignation comes before midterm elections where New Mexico Democrats are hopeful at winning back the governor's seat and capturing more Legislative seats.

The Democratic Party issued a statement following Ellenberg's resignation.

"Our country and our state are in an incredible moment in which survivors of sexual harassment and sexual assault feel empowered to come forward, and the Democratic Party of New Mexico has taken upon itself to be a leader on this issue. Chair Ellenberg has taken responsibility for the fact that he has more to learn and has stepped down. We encourage everyone to strive to end a culture of sexual harassment in our state. We will be moving forward to ensure our Party is an ally for the countless women who have come forward and working to change our culture so everyone is treated with respect and professionalism in the workplace,” the statement read.

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, U.S. Reps Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham, and New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver issued the following statement in response to Richard Ellenberg’s resignation as chairman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico.

“As Democrats, we stand with the silence-breakers who have come forward to share their stories of sexual harassment and abuse. Questioning the credibility of sexual misconduct allegations is contrary to our values, and it is time for new leadership that better reflects them.”