SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Republican leaders want a newly-formed ethics commission to dismiss a complaint filed against one of their members shortly before the election by her Democratic opponent.

“Issuing an ethics complaint just weeks before the November election reveals the desperation of the progressive radicals. They are willing to taint a brand new ethics commission just to score a headline,” said House Republican Leader Jim Townsend, of Artesia.

Democrat Karen Whitlock said Monday that she filed the complaint against Republican state Rep. Rebecca Dow, saying that her incumbent opponent failed to disclose her role as a legislator in contracts between an education company where she and her family work, and state child welfare agencies.

Dow said she didn't have a conflict of interest as a legislator because she doesn't own the company, AppleTree Educational Center, which provides after-school programs and other services.

In a letter to the State Ethics Commission, GOP leaders said that it has the authority to throw the complaint out, and urged it to publicly announce if it did so.

A spokesman for the commission said Monday that it couldn't acknowledge if the complaint existed, and that such complaints against political candidates can't be ruled on within 60 days of an election.

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Attanasio is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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