In Otero County, New Mexico, there was a local primary election on June 7. Republicans were elected to every office on the ballot but two.
One exception was a Democrat for one of the three County Commissioner seats. For a second commissioner seat, a near tie of 801 votes to 790, may go to a recount — but both those candidates are Republicans too.
Not much excitement, or news here, initially. But then the incumbent commissioners made headlines last week, by refusing to certify the results.
There were no charges of any irregularities, but the county had used Dominion voting machines, which MAGA Republicans falsely assert are actively wired for fraud, and that was enough: the Commission voted unanimously not to certify.
New Mexico’s Secretary of State went to the state supreme court, which ordered the Otero commissioners, lacking any evidence of fraud, to certify the vote by week’s end. On Friday, two of the members met. But the third, Couy Griffin, was absent.
Turned out Griffin was in Washington, DC, being sentenced for taking part in the January 6 2021 insurrection at the Capitol. He claims to be a founder of Cowboys for Trump, and was part of the 1/6 attack. He was arrested on January 17. Released on bail 20 days later, he was convicted in March of this year of entering restricted U.S. Capitol grounds.
Griffin was in Washington last Friday for sentencing. He was given 14 days in jail. With time served, he was not jailed again, but was fined $3,000, and obligated to 60 hours of community service, plus a year of supervised release.
Griffin later phoned in to join the other Otero County Commissioners, who were reconsidering the June 7 results. Fearing possible arrests, the others reversed their position and voted to certify.
Griffin, however, stood firm, declaring, to wit:
“My vote to remain a no isn’t based on any evidence, it isn’t based on any facts. It’s only based on my own gut feeling, my own intuition, and that’s all I need.”
Griffin, records show, had made headlines with a previous quote, which went viral in Spring 2020, when he objected to Covid policies issued by New Mexico’s Democratic governor.
Griffin’s actual quote then was: “I’ve come to a place where I’ve come to a conclusion where the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.”
Possibly sensing that he’d crossed a line, he later said he meant dead Democrats in “the political sense.”
The New Mexico Young Republicans condemned Griffin’s remarks, saying, “We value the personal and political worth of all New Mexicans and to make such an outrageous statement is contrary to the pro-life Republican Party platform.”
The state Republican Party said on social media that “any statements, whether in jest or serious, about harming another individual are just plain wrong.”