- New Mexico Republican Stefani Lords, a candidate for the state House of Representatives, told Business Insider she's pulling out of a rally that is set to pay "special tribute" to the New Mexico Civil Guard.
- As Business Insider reported on Wednesday, the so-called civil guard is a far-right paramilitary group whose founder is a neo-Confederate with a swastika tattoo.
- "Originally I was told this would be a peaceful protest in Clovis with candidates speaking," Lord, founder of the group "Pro-Gun Women," told Business Insider.
- "However," Lord said, "it seems as time went on, the message of 'Vote Red' became convoluted as more and more speakers were added to the list and the tone and tenor changed."
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A New Mexico Republican running for a state house seat on the outskirts of Albuquerque is pulling out of a GOP rally that's paying "special tribute" to a far-right militia.
As Business Insider reported, elected Republicans and state party chapters have been promoting an August 22 rally that, in part, is being held to honor the New Mexico Civil Guard, a paramilitary group led by a neo-Confederate with a swastika tattoo and a "national anarchist" who has denied the Nazi extermination of 6 million Jews.
Stefani Lord, a Republican looking to unseat a Democratic incumbent in New Mexico's House of Representatives, said on Thursday that she's no longer going to participate.
"I was asked to speak at this event months ago," Lord told Business Insider. "Originally I was told this would be a peaceful protest in Clovis with candidates speaking. However, it seems as time went on, the message of 'Vote Red' became convoluted as more and more speakers were added to the list and the tone and tenor changed."
Lord, the founder of the group "Pro-Gun Women," said she has asked to be removed from the speakers list, which currently features the vice-chair of the state Republican Party.
Earlier this week, "Cowboys for Trump" founder Couy Griffin confirmed that he would be attending the rally. State Sen. Pat Woods also said he would be attending the rally honoring a paramilitary group, describing it as a "GOP grand opening event."
The Republican Party of New Mexico declined to comment on whether its vice-chair, a listed speaker, will be attending the event. The party also declined to address the rally's paying "tribute" to the New Mexico Civil Guard; its executive director, Anissa Tinnin, instead is lending her support for those who wish to attend.
"If citizens want to peacefully attend a grassroots event — unlike lawless Antifa protesters looting and shooting — it is their prerogative, and we will not stand in their way," the party said.
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