SANTA FE, N.M. — The politics surrounding Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales’ proposal for an ambitious pre-kindergarten education program financed with a soda tax exploded this week and even took on personal overtones.

Two city councilors – Joe Maestas and Ron Trujillo – have called for pushing back the date for a possible election on the tax on sugary beverages, part of a fight that is playing out at City Hall, on social media and via a political action committee’s press release.

Gonzales complained about an attack on his cousin and got an apology from Trujillo, published on Facebook. Meanwhile, both Maestas and Trujillo were criticized by a PAC supporting the mayor’s plan, and Maestas fired back on Twitter.

The PAC maintains delaying implementation of Gonzales’ effort to make pre-K accessible for every three- or four-year-old in Santa Fe would cost the city millions in terms of new jobs and the long-term benefits of having better educated children.

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