Rancher Ammon Bundy, who led armed occupation of federal land, running for governor in Idaho

Rancher is currently banned from state’s Capitol Building after protesting there

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Monday 21 June 2021 19:18 BST
Anti-government activist Bundy issues Idaho campaign video

Anti-government rancher Ammon Bundy has officially entered the race for governor in Idaho.

Mr Bundy is currently banned from the Idaho State Capitol Building after being wheeled out in an office chair by state troopers after he refused to leave during last year’s coronavirus protest.

He is best known for leading a right-wing armed stand-off at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon in 2016 to protest federal government control of public land.

“I’m running for governor because I’m sick and tired of all of this political garbage just like you are,” Mr Bundy said in video announcing his campaign.

“I’m tired of our freedoms being taken from us and I’m tired of the corruption that is rampant in our state government.”

He added: “We have a great opportunity in Idaho to not only preserve our rights and freedom, but we can thrive by expanding and upholding the principles of liberty and prosperity that were passed on to us by our Founding Fathers and enshrined in our state and US Constitution.”

The 45-year-old conservative, who has been a vocal critic of mask mandates during the pandemic, was arrested but later acquitted in the Oregon case.

He was also a part of the effort to recall Republican governor Brad Little over the state’s stay-at-home order put in place to deal with Covid-19.

Mr Bundy, who has been arrested in the state five times since August, was arrested twice in April for trespassing in the State Capitol and faces two misdemeanor criminal trespassing cases pending against him.

He is representing himself and has pleaded not guilty in one case and not yet entered a plea in the second.

Mr Bundy filed paperwork to run for governor last month, but got off to a rocky start as he listed himself as his campaign’s treasurer but is not registered to vote in the state, as required for a treasurer.

The gubernatorial election is set to take place on 22 November 2022, with whoever chosen as the Republican nominee an overwhelming favorite to win the seat.

Mr Bundy will likely face competition from the state’s lieutenant governor Janice McGeachin, along with Republicans Jeff Cotton, Chris Hammond, Edward Humphreys, Lisa Marie and Cody Usabel.

Governor Brad Little has said does not plan to announce if he will run for re-election anytime soon.

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