ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A former Trump administration appointee who resigned after a harsh report into a tribal loan program he oversaw announced Monday that he is running for Congress in New Mexico.
Gavin Clarkson filed documents with the Federal Election Commission to seek the Republican nomination for a seat that represents a district along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Clarkson said in a campaign statement that he believes running is the "best way to help President Trump stop the swamp" and protect New Mexico.
In November, ProPublica and The Washington Post reported that Clarkson resigned from the Bureau of Indian Affairs following an inspector general report into the loan program he directed. That report alleged the bureau's division of capital investment did not have adequate controls and managed the loan program with limited oversight.
Clarkson, a New Mexico State University business professor and an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, has served as the bureau's deputy assistant secretary for policy and economic development.
He said the loan story was based on "flying monkeys of fake news falsely" reporting that he was involved in loan guarantees.
He joins former Hobbs Mayor Monty Newman, state Rep. Yvette Herrell and pharmacist Jack Volpato in seeking the GOP nomination.
Former leader of the New Mexico National Guard leader Andrew Salas announce Monday he was withdrawing from the GOP primary.