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New Mexico Republicans cancel rally after paramiitary group pulls out

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  • New Mexico Republicans have canceled an August 22 rally that was supposed to pay “special tribute” to a far-right paramilitary group.
  • Following Business Insider’s coverage of the event, the Curry County Republican Party took out a full-page newspaper ad stating that it “does not support any group that believes in racist ideologies or condones violence in any way.”
  • The New Mexico Civil Guard itself pulled out of the rally, claiming it took offense to “blatant racist” remarks from other, unspecified speakers.
  • The Las Cruces Sun News reported on Friday that the event, which was to be held at the Curry County GOP’s party headquarters, is no longer happening.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Republicans in New Mexico have canceled a rally that was going to pay “special tribute” to a far-right paramilitary group — after that group earlier pulled out of the rally, citing “blatantly racist” remarks from some speakers.

As Business Insider was the first to report, the August 22 rally in Clovis, New Mexico, was billed as an event honoring law enforcement and the New Mexico Civil Guard. The paramilitary group, whose leaders include a neo-Confederate and a man who denied Holocaust, has appeared heavily armed at anti-racist events in the state, including one in Albuquerque where a former Republican candidate shot a protester.

Earlier this week, the New Mexico Civil Guard announced on its since-removed Facebook page that it was pulling out of the Clovis rally, claiming it did not want to be seen as condoning racism. Other speakers included Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin, who recently said Black athletes protesting racism in the United States should “go back to Africa.”

That announcement came after Stefani Lord, a Republican candidate for the state legislature, told Business Insider she was pulling out of the event, citing its “tone and tenor.”

Following Business Insider’s coverage, the Curry County GOP, which had promoted the event, took out a full-page ad in The Eastern New Mexico News saying it “does not support any group that believes in racist ideologies or condones violence in any way.”

As the Las Cruces Sun News reported on Friday, local Republicans have now decided to pull the plug (although Griffin, an Otero County commissioner, told the newspaper that his group plans to hold a march and rally itself).

Rube Render, chairman of the Curry County GOP, told the newspaper that the rally — which was to take place at the party’s headquarters — was canceled, but declined to say why.

Earlier, the Republican Party of New Mexico told Business Insider that the rally was not affiliated with the state organization. However, the vice-chair of the New Mexico GOP, Rick Lopez, was listed as a featured speaker.

On August 19, The Eastern New Mexico News reported that Lopez had pulled out of the event.

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