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Recall petition begins against Cowboys for Trump founder

Associated Press logoAssociated Press 7/1/2021
Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin, the founder of Cowboys for Trump, discussed his past and future in politics from the porch of a tidy double-wide trailer in Tularosa, N.M., on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. Griffin is reviled and revered in politically conservative Otero County as he confronts criminal charges for joining protests on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Griffin is fighting for his political future amid a recall initiative and state probes into his finances. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee) © Provided by Associated Press Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin, the founder of Cowboys for Trump, discussed his past and future in politics from the porch of a tidy double-wide trailer in Tularosa, N.M., on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. Griffin is reviled and revered in politically conservative Otero County as he confronts criminal charges for joining protests on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Griffin is fighting for his political future amid a recall initiative and state probes into his finances. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A political committee has begun circulating a petition to recall Cowboys or Trump founder Couy Griffin from public office as a commissioner in Otero County.

The Committee to Recall Couy Griffin said Thursday in a news release that it has begun collecting signatures in efforts to scheduled a recall election.

The petition alleges that Griffin neglected and misused his position as a county commissioner while skipping public meetings and promoting a support group for President Donald Trump that Griffin treated as a for-profit business.

Griffin, elected in 2018, says allegations in the petition are frivolous and without merit. Separately, Griffin is confronting federal charges in connection with the U.S. Capitol siege on Jan. 6, where he appeared on an outdoor terrace and attempted to lead a prayer.

Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin, the founder of Cowboys for Trump, takes in the view from his ranch in Tularosa, N.M., on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. Griffin is reviled and revered in politically conservative Otero County as he confronts criminal charges for joining protests on an outdoor terrace of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. He's also fighting for his political future amid a recall initiative and state probes into his finances. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee) © Provided by Associated Press Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin, the founder of Cowboys for Trump, takes in the view from his ranch in Tularosa, N.M., on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. Griffin is reviled and revered in politically conservative Otero County as he confronts criminal charges for joining protests on an outdoor terrace of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. He's also fighting for his political future amid a recall initiative and state probes into his finances. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)

The recall committee needs to collect about 1,540 signatures from registered voters in Griffin's district to trigger a vote on whether Griffin stays in office through 2022.

Otero County Clerk Robyn Holmes says a successful petition would put the question on the November general election ballot for local, nonpartisan races.

If Griffin is recalled from office, Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham would name a replacement. A Democrat last sat on the Otero County Commission in 1994.

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