On Monday afternoon, Potter County Elections Administrator Melynn Huntley conducted a news conference at the Santa Fe Building in downtown Amarillo to clear up confusion on a politically charged text message intended to look like an official statement.
The text message in question, which was sent on Friday, mentioned in particular the phrase “Brandon Gear,” which is most likely referring to a recurring phrase common among some opponents of President Biden has been put on various merchandise items to exploit its popularity. The meme’s origins go back to Oct. 2, when race car driver Brandon Brown won his first NASCAR Xfinity Series race and was being interviewed by NBC reporter Kelli Stavast. With a segment of the crowd yelling a vulgar remark toward the current president, she reported that they were cheering on the winner of the race.
“To be very clear, Potter County elections did not send this text message, nor did any other department inside the county,” said Huntley.
Huntley stressed that her office prides itself as being nonpartisan and strives to use the highest ethics not to promote any particular party. The goal of the elections office is to get voting information out to the public free from bias and to be as accurate as possible.
“We are trying so hard in elections to gain voter confidence and for them to understand that our job is to get everything right and stay nonpartisan, so having this type of a message out there just undermines the high level of integrity that our office has,” said Huntley.
To her knowledge, no incidents of this type have ever happened.
“I was livid,” said Huntley after she got news of the message’s distribution in the community.
The Potter County elections office implores whoever sent out the message to retract it immediately and discontinue using Potter County as an identifier. If actions of this type continue, the county could seek legal action with consultation from the Potter County Attorney’s office to correct the matter.
According to Huntley, there are several legal violations for this type of misrepresentation regarding the Texas Penal Code and Deceptive Practices Act.
This article originally appeared on Amarillo Globe-News: Potter County Election Officials denounce misleading text message