CASPER — Every member of the Wyoming GOP’s current leadership ran uncontested in the 2021 state party elections. This year, there will be more competition.
A pair of challengers — Converse County rancher Frank Moore and Sweetwater County GOP Chairman Elizabeth Bingham — have coalesced in a slate to challenge the current leadership of the Wyoming GOP at the party’s elections this Saturday.
They will face current Chairman Frank Eathorne and Vice Chair David Holland.
The outcome of the elections could drastically change the direction of the state GOP, which has in recent years taken a turn toward hard-line Trumpian Republicanism.
Bingham, a business owner who moved to Sweetwater County from Salt Lake City nearly 19 years ago, announced her bid for the state GOP’s vice chair post last week. She first became a precinct member of the Sweetwater County GOP in 2016, then rose to become vice chairman and then chairman of the county party. She was reelected in March to her second term as chairman.
Bingham said she’s been thinking for a long time about how to get more involved in the party at the executive state level.
“When Frank Moore called me and shared his vision of leadership, that earned my vote, but he also inspired me to want to step up and serve with him,” Bingham said. “Frank Moore is the true conservative who I trust to lead our party. That’s what really sealed it.”
Under the party’s bylaws, the state vice chairman of the party assists the chairman and stands in for him as needed. The vice chairman also becomes chairman if there’s a vacancy in the position.
If elected, Bingham said she would aim to “work hard” to support Moore as chairman and “listen to all perspectives.”
“I want to listen to every county party and hear what they have to say, what is unique about each county, what their needs are, what they want to work on, what they want to accomplish, and how they see our Republican Party two years from now.”
Bingham will go up against Holland, who’s running for his third term in the post.
Moore, a former state lawmaker and “lifelong conservative,” announced his bid for the state GOP’s chairman position last month.
One of his main priorities if elected would be to mend the fractures in the state GOP.
Moore largely stepped away from politics after serving in the Legislature in the early ‘90s to focus on his various businesses in the agriculture industry, running his family ranch outside of Douglas for 30 years with his wife and in the past serving as president of the Wyoming Wool Growers Association and the American Sheep Industry Association.
Moore told the Star-Tribune that he sees “a lot of problems” with the impact of federal policies on Wyoming’s agriculture and energy industries, describing some measures, like those that restrict oil drilling and favor electric cars, as “detrimental to the Wyoming way of life.”
Though he described current chairman Eathorne — who is running for a third term — as “a good man” who has “put in a lot of effort,” Moore said he’s “ready for change.”
Bingham said much the same.
“He’s been there five years, and I think it’s time for fresh new leadership,” Bingham said of Eathorne. “I think contested races are good. We had several of them in our county, and contested races bring good debate. Cream rises to the top, and it’s healthy for the party to have contested races.”
Current Wyoming GOP Secretary Donna Rice is also running for reelection to her post.
No one else has so far declared a bid for that position, though Moore said he still hopes to find a secretary candidate before Saturday’s elections to run with himself and Bingham.
Additional nominations could come from the floor on Saturday.
Changes last month in county GOP makeup are likely less favorable to current state leadership, but it’s not certain at this point if the balance will tip in favor of fresh candidates.
Both Moore and Bingham, however, have said they’re optimistic about their chances.
“I think we have a great chance,” Bingham said.
The state GOP leadership elections will be held this Saturday at the Virginian Lodge in Jackson.
The meeting is open to the public.
Where do you find these so-called reporters that haven't a clue about news versus opinion. Early in this drivel, the reporter stated: "which has in recent years taken a turn toward hard-line Trumpian Republicanism." Where do you find a definition of that trash. Some ill advised and uninformed folks even believe that registering as a Republican makes you one, just as much as a man putting on a dress and lipstick makes him a woman.
Gardener, please explain how you can repeatedly quote the American Conservative Union ratings, which are in fact just the ACU’s OPINION of how ‘conservative’ a lawmaker’s performance is and then whine when a reporter expresses an opinion.
We have been blessed with the first amendment which guarantees, among other things that were all liberal ideas in the 18th century, everyone’s right to express their opinions. If you find that to be intolerable, I’d suggest relocating to Viktor Orban’s Hungary; you know, where the ACU likes to hold their CPAC meetings and you can enjoy life under a full blown autocratic government that tells you what you think, controls the press and jails the hated libs.
When a reporter expresses an opinion, they have crossed the line, and are no longer a reporter. News is supposed to be based on facts. Liberal journalism schools have lost their integrity.
Thank you gardener. I understand your perspective now. I’ve always preferred math and Newtonian physics over politics myself as their facts are established by proofs and can be verified by experiments. Political facts, on the other hand, are often determined by political agendas. That’s why I prefer my news to be fresh, medium rare, juicy and seasoned with a dash of opinion. The seasoning brings out the agenda if its present. Wishing you the best of luck on your quest to determine the facts in this age of fake news, alternative facts and hidden agendas.
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