AlamogordoTownNews.com Updated 10-16-22 Governor Weighing the Appointment of Stephanie Dubois to fill Remaining Months of Couy Griffin Term
The Alamogordo Daily News earlier today broke headline story that Stephanie Dubois had been appointed by the Governor to fill Couy Griffins position. It has since revised the story
"Stephanie Dubois likely appointee to Couy Griffin's Otero County Commission seat"
At AlamogordoTownNews.com getting the facts is priority, thus, we held off on the story till all facts could be verified...
Couy Griffins position on the Otero County Commission came to an end when a judge ordered his removal creating an opening until election for the District Seat. The ruling was the result of a lawsuit seeking Griffin’s removal, which alleged that he violated a clause in 14th Amendment of the Constitution by participating in an “insurrection or rebellion” against the US government. He had been convicted of a misdemeanor of trespassing earlier this year.
The historic ruling represented the first time an elected official has been removed from office for their participation or support of the US Capitol riot. It also marks the first time a judge has formally ruled that the events of January 6, 2021, were an “insurrection.”
Given Griffins removal, the state constitution of New Mexico empowers the Governor, to appoint a commissioner to fill the vacant seat until an election is held to fill it.
Article XX, New Mexico Constitution Section 4
"If a vacancy occurs in the office of district attorney or county commissioner, the governor shall fill such vacancy by appointment, and such appointee shall hold such office until the next general election. His successor shall be chosen at such election and shall hold his office until the expiration of the original term."
Though the Governor has the authority she has kept a hands-off approach to most positions vacant in Alamogordo or Otero County. There is presently a position for magistrate, that has been open for several months, and the Governor never filled it.
Local political watchers believed this late in the game that the Governor would just keep the positions vacant but that changed when the announcement that Ms. Dubois "received a call from the Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's office on Thursday."
AlamogordoTownNews.com confirmed with the Governor's office that "a review process was underway and expected to be completed soon and then an announcement may be forthcoming soon."
DuBois said that she was still in the process of completing paperwork following the notification as part of that process.
The fact is the appointment process is currently underway and a definite appointee had not yet been officially named by the governor's office, but Ms. Dubois is the frontrunner for appointment.
Ms. Dubois is not a newcomer as a candidate for elective office in Alamogordo or Otero County. She has been a candidate in multiple elections over the last decade and is the former chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Otero County.
If Dubois is appointed but fails to secure the election in November, she would hold the seat only until January when the new commissioner is sworn in.
Ms. Dubois has a difficult battle to maintain the position, if appointed.
Otero County is a deeply Red County leaning very conservative. The frontrunner in the race to replace Couy Griffin is former Republican Party Chairwoman Amy Barela. Mrs. Barela won a very tight race against Alamogordo Center of Commerce Executive Director, GB Oliver winning by 11 votes and a recount to verify the vote. Mrs. Barela took nothing for granted in the primary race, door knocked on hundreds of doors and campaigned at a grass roots level, aggressively.
For the general election which has already begun early voting; again, she is not taking anything for granted, and is working the streets to ensure a large turnout of her base to deliver a victory in November.
AlamogordoTownNews.com reached out to the chairpersons of each party for comment on the development of Ms. DuBois potential appointment and as of press time has not received a comment from either.
We reached out via text to Ms. Dubois and received no comment. "I'm a little overwhelmed I will say," DuBois told the Alamogordo Daily News Friday.
Candidate Amy Barela responded; "I would like to congratulate Stephanie on her potential appointment. I am disappointed that I was not selected by the governor but not surprised. Luckily the general election is only 27 days away and Otero County will be able to choose who best represents their values."
Political observers are questioning, if the appointment goes through, does that provide a potential lift for Ms. Dubois and further activate her base?
On the other hand, does that force those on the fence or more conservative supporters of Ms. Barela, that might not have voted in the mid-term election, to activate and ensure the seat is filled by Ms. Barela?
The election is 27 days away, both candidates are sure to work hard at engaging their base and ensure their best efforts are on display to bring about victory.
Politics in Otero County New Mexico can be rough and tumble, confusing and challenging, the characters that make up the political establishment always keep it interesting with twist and turns, thus it is never dull.
AlamogordoTownNews.com will continue to follow and report as this story continues to unfold. AlamogordoTownNews.com will continue on the trail of others in a fair and balanced in-depth manner, free from "partisan propaganda" to bring Alamogordo citizens the best of in-depth coverage.
Update 8:22 pm Friday we received the following response to our query to Ms Dubois of what offices she had run for or served in the past and what her response was to the potential appointment?
Stephanie Dubois: “My appointment is pending the vetting process. How long that will take, I don't know. I am honored by the Governor's considering me for the appointment.”
Stephanie Dubois: “I have run for County Clerk NM, Senate, NM House, PRC, County Commission, Tularosa Trustee . Party offices Democratic Party Chair twice, Vice-Chair, precinct chair, State central committee member. Also served 18 years as the Regional Vice-Chair for Congressional District 2 which takes in before the recent re-districting about all or parts of 19 counties. Non- paying position. You are welcome.”
NOTE the governors office has not released an official notice of appointment but that vetting is going on…
8:55 pm Friday the Republican Party submitted this formal response per a press release on their Facebook Page
”RPNM: GOV. LUJAN GRISHAM’S APPOINTEE TO FILL THE VACANCY ON THE OTERO COUNTY COMMISSION AN INEXPERIENCED POLITICAL HACK
GOVERNOR’S ACTION OBVIOUS CASE OF CRONYISM AS SHE THUMBS HER NOSE AT OTERO COUNTY
Albuquerque, October 14—The Republican Party of New Mexico is dismayed that in a brazen move, Gov. Lujan Grisham has appointed an unqualified person to fill the vacant seat on the Otero County Commission, the seat from which Couy Griffin was removed.
The Governor has named Stephanie Dubois to fill the County Commission District 2 vacancy until the term ends December 31.
Dubois, a progressive, has no political office experience and doesn’t understand the needs and values of the constituents in Otero County. The appointment by the Governor is merely political theater to get a progressive into that seat, a seat that is reliably Republican.
Dubois’s radical record is well known. She stood against Otero County's Resolution against the Red Flag Law, rallied with the group that failed to recall a local decision passing a resolution for Alamogordo to support the unborn and she went against Otero County’s resolution for Right to Work.
Dubois not only fails to understand what’s important in Otero County, but voters have consistently rejected her radical ideology in her past attempts to run for office.
--In Otero County she lost running for Probate Judge in 2002
--In Otero County she lost running for State Representative in District 57 in 2004
--In Otero County she lost running for Public Regulation Commissioner in 2006
--In Otero County she lost running for Public Regulation Commissioner in 2010
--In Otero County she lost running for State Senator in 2012
--In Otero County she lost running for Commissioner in 2014
--In Otero County she lost running for County Clerk in 2016
See a pattern?
Now the Governor puts her in office in a county where voters have rejected Dubois for 20 years! She doesn’t hold the values or the interests of Otero County constituents.
“This is a blatant case of political theater, and the Governor is putting politics before people,” said RPNM Chairman Steve Pearce. “Lujan Grisham doesn’t care about the constituents of Otero County, and this ridiculous political appointment is proof. Lujan Grisham got someone who will follow her lead and her progressive politics. Dubois will be subservient to Lujan Grisham and ignore what’s best for the residents in Otero County. This is why it’s imperative we get strong, conservative leaders on the Otero County Commission who will truly represent the working people.”
Note Story Updated 10-16-22
The Democratic Party via Otero County Democratic Chairman Jeff Swanson released a statement Sunday 10-16-22
“If our Governors decides on Stephanie Dubois she would be a welcome appointment to the Otero County Commission of our Governor decides. Stephanie would bring sorely needed competence and a call for five Commissioners.
We citizens deserve five sensible Commissioners with the patriotism and sense to protect our elections, advance our economy, bolster public education, expand our hospital, protect our environment, infrastructure and secure an exemplary reputation for our County. Competence and honor currently languishes regarding the two remaining Commissioners. Good riddance to Couy Griffin! Stephanie would be one worthy Commissioner. We then need four more. Stop the squander! Jeff Swanson”