Monday, August 8, 2022

Cowboys for Trump co-founder won’t seek reelection

SANTA FE, NM ( Associated Press) — Cowboys for Trump co-founder Couy Griffin said Tuesday that he won’t run for reelection on the Otero County commission in southern New Mexico or seek other public office in the 2022 election cycle.

As a crucial registration deadline passed, Griffin said he has lost faith in the political system as an avenue for change as his four-year term draws to an end — though he plans to continue with public speaking engagements and will advocate for local and statewide Republican candidates.

“It’s just my faith in the political system is pretty much nonexistent right now,” said Griffin, a Republican. “I’ve done all I can over the course of the last three years … And I’ve just been attacked every time I turn around.”

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“It’s not my desire, I should say, to remain in politics. But who knows what the future holds.”

Griffin said the decision to sit out the election was not tied to legal proceedings.

The first-term county commissioner is confronting misdemeanor criminal charges in federal court stemming from the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol, with a trial scheduled in late March.

Griffin appeared on an outdoor terrace of the Capitol and tried to lead the crowd in prayer. He denies that he knowingly entered barricaded areas of the Capitol grounds with the intent of disrupting government as Congress certified the 2020 Electoral College results.

Griffin also stands at the center of a yearslong legal battle with state election regulators about Cowboys for Trump and whether it must register as a political organization.

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In January, he voted with the commission to hire a private contractor to review the 2020 presidential election in Otero County.

New Mexico’s top election regulator and prosecutor last week warned residents of Otero County to be wary of intrusive questions and potential intimidation by door-to-door canvassers linked to the election review.

Griffin on Tuesday endorsed local Republican Party leader Amy Barela in her campaign for the Republican nomination to fill his seat on the three-member Otero County commission, and said he would support anti-abortion activist Ethel Mahag in her Republican bid for governor.

Maharg’s request to run on the Republican primary ballot was still pending approval of election regulators on Tuesday.

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