Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphree told The Cross Timbers Gazette on Thursday that he will wear a face covering, as ordered by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, but he told the county’s deputies they won’t be enforcing the mandate locally.

According to the Gazette, Murphree said he believed the governor overstepped his authority with the order.

He also said the sheriff's office has other work to do rather than chase down people who try to enter a business without a mask.

The statements triggered a campaign to oust Murphree hours after they appeared online. Denton resident Jessica Luther Rummel launched a GoFundMe page Thursday with the goal to cover legal expenses for a trial petition seeking to remove Murphree from office. The Texas Local Government Code provides a legal remedy for residents to remove an elected official who refuses to uphold the law.

By early Friday evening, more than 90 people had donated more than $2,200 toward the $5,000 goal.

— Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe

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