AP NEWS

New Mexico land commissioner settles defamation suit over ad

December 4, 2018

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn has reached a settlement agreement with Garrett VeneKlasen in a defamation lawsuit over 2017 political attack ads.

Aubrey Dunn’s attorney and son Blair Dunn on Monday said that settlement terms are private other than a written public apology from VeneKlasen.

The ads against Dunn were launched by VeneKlasen as he campaigned unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for land commissioner. Under the settlement, VeneKlasen says he did not intend to state that Dunn was corrupt, self-dealing or dishonest.

Dunn eventually declined to run for re-election as land commissioner and briefly campaigned for Congress as a Republican and then U.S. Senate as a Libertarian before withdrawing. Democrat state Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard won election in November as land commissioner against Republican Patrick Lyons.

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