'Cowboys for Trump' leader chided for 'dead Democrat' remark

FILE - In this March 12, 2019, file photo, Otero County Commissioner and Cowboys for Trump founder Coy Griffin denounces gun control and pro-abortion rights bills in the New Mexico State Legislature at a protest outside the Statehouse in Santa Fe, N.M. The group said this week seek arbitration in a fight with the New Mexico Secretary of State over fines and required reports. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee, File)

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — The founder of the group Cowboys for Trump and a New Mexico county commissioner is facing calls to resign after he said in a video, “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.”

In a video posted Tuesday on social media, Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin said he wished for the Democratic Party to die because it was anti-American and opposed to President Donald Trump.

“I’ve come to a place where I’ve come to the conclusion that the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat,” Griffin said in a video on the Cowboys for Trump Facebook and Twitter pages. The crowd at an unknown event began to cheer.

“I don’t say that in the physical sense, and I can already see where the videos getting edited where it says I want to go murder Democrats. No,” Griffin continued. “I say that in the political sense because the Democrat agenda and policy is anti-American right now.”

But by late Tuesday, a clip of the first part of Griffin’s comments circulated among Democrats who called for Griffin to resign from the Otero County Commission.

“The County Commissioner’s comment is despicable, indefensible, and un-American,” Democratic New Mexico House Speaker Brian Egolf tweeted Tuesday. “He represents Rs, Ds, and Independents. He should immediately apologize and resign.”

Democratic Party of New Mexico chairwoman Marg Elliston said in a statement Griffin’s comments had no place in the state’s political discourse.

“Commissioner Griffin should resign his position immediately,” she said. “It is also incumbent upon every single Republican holding or running for elected office in New Mexico to strongly denounce his comments and join our call for his resignation.”

Griffin told The Associated Press he was speaking about politically killing the Democratic progressive agenda and wasn’t inciting violence.

“I absolutely don’t want to harm anybody,” Griffin told The AP. “I don’t agree with the Democrat platform.”

Griffin said he would not resign because he felt he did nothing wrong and was only speaking his mind.

In October, New Mexico’s Democratic state auditor said he was investigating a travel reimbursement to Griffin in his capacity as an Otero County commissioner. The Office of the State Auditor said it’s examining whether the reimbursement to Griffin violated state law.

Griffin traveled to Washington in part to attend a Sept. 12 conference with representatives from Western states. A travel voucher listed a meeting with Trump as the reason for the expense.

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