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N.M. Supreme Court allows recall effort against Cowboys for Trump booster

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 – An effort to recall the founder of Cowboys for Trump from his public office as a county commissioner can move forward under an order of the New Mexico state Supreme Court.

In a written order Monday, the Supreme Court rebuffed an appeal from Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin and upheld a lower court ruling that said voters can circulate a recall petition. A successful petition would trigger an election vote on whether Griffin can finish his four-year term in office.

Cowboys for Trump has held horseback-riding parades across the country in support of President Donald Trump.

Retired military veteran Paul Sanchez and other members of the Committee to Recall Couy Griffin are accusing Griffin of using his elected county position for personal gain.

They say Griffin used his office space to solicit contributions to Cowboys for Trump that covered his personal expenses. They also are criticizing Griffin's pursuit of travel reimbursements from taxpayers for a cross-country trip that culminated in a visit with Trump at the White House.

Griffin has called those allegations frivolous, baseless and politically motivated. Griffin says that Cowboys for Trump is a for-profit endeavor that is not subject to financial disclosure requirements for political organizations.

Separately, Griffin is defending himself against criminal charges in connection with the siege on the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6.

Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin presides at a public meeting in Alamogordo, N.M., on Thursday, May 13, 2021, in a shirt with a "C4T" logo that stands for Cowboys for Trump. Griffin founded the support group for President Trump that held horseback parades across the country. Griffin is revered and reviled in politically conservative Otero County as he confronts criminal charges for joining protests on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. He is fighting for his political future amid a recall initiative and state probes into his finances. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)