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New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Murphy says DGA chair ‘doing a great job’ despite genital grabbing settlement

New Mexico governor’s campaign to pay at least $62,500 for misconduct allegations brought by former communications director

By Nikita Biryukov, April 14 2021 3:52 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy demurred when asked if Democratic Governor Association Chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham should resign over a settlement to a suit brought by a former campaign staffer who accused the New Mexico governor of grabbing his genitals.

“I think Gov. Lujan Grisham is doing a great job running the DGA,” Murphy said. “I’m its finance chair, so I don’t make the jurisdictional decisions any longer as I did when I was chair, but I think she’s doing a great job, and New Mexico, I think, is doing a very good job in the pandemic more generally.”

Lujan Grisham reportedly entered into a settlement worth at least $62,500 to close out a suit brought by James Hallinan, who served as her campaign’s communications director.

The New Mexico governor has denied the allegations, and such settlements typically do no include an admission of guilt.

Murphy is the immediate past-chairman of the Democratic Governors Association. He was succeeded by Lujan Grisham, a former congresswoman, and is running in one of only two gubernatorial races this year.

The New Jersey Democrat currently serves as chairman emeritus of the DGA, which launched a campaign video attacking Republican rival Jack Ciattarelli on Monday.

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