Ammon Bundy, the son of Cliven Bundy of the Bundy Ranch that resisted the Obama administration’s Bureau of Land Management’s 2014 attempt to confiscate the senior Cliven’s cattle due to years of alleged grazing on public lands without a permit, officially announced his run to become the Republican nominee for Governor of the State of Idaho at a campaign-style event that attracted hundreds of supporters earlier today.
“May we keep Idaho a bastion of freedom and prosperity for years to come, may we be an example to the world of how to be free, of how to act, how to treat each other, and how to leave each other alone. And together, all of us together, may we Keep Idaho, Idaho,” said Bundy earlier today in Meridian, Idaho, referencing his campaign slogan, “Keep Idaho IDAHO.”
Bundy’s vision for Idaho, known as the “Keep Idaho IDAHO Plan“, features the elimination of property tax, income tax, and consumption taxes, plans to take back the 61% of Idaho land currently held by the federal government, prevent vaccine mandates, and recognize cryptocurrencies as official accepted forms of payment in the state. The plan also features criminal justice reform, the legalization of marijuana, and an executive order to end abortion in the state.
Bundy and his family became national figures during a days long standoff between the family of ranchers and armed federal agents from the Obama administration’s Bureau of Land Management. At one point, as the BLM attempted to corral and confiscate the Bundy family’s cattle, a crowd of 400 protesters outnumbered and overwhelmed the BLM agents, causing them to retreat.
Ultimately, the family faced 16 felony counts, with the trial ultimately ending in a mistrial. Federal judge Gloria Navarro cited “gross misconduct” from the federal government, and in her ruling wrote that “a mistrial in this case is the most suitable and only remedy.” The federal government attempted to appeal the decision and take more legal action against the Bundy family in 2020, only to have the Trump-era Ninth District Court of Appeals refuse to accept their appeal.
Bundy has been a sharp critic of Idaho Gov. Brad Little throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and was arrested multiple times for refusing to wear a face mask at the Idaho Capitol. Ultimately, Bundy was banned from the Capitol for his refusal to wear face coverings.
Bundy will face Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin in the primary. McGeachin made national headlines when, in May of this year, she used the temporary powers vested in her while Gov. Little was out of state to sign an executive order effectively banning mask mandates in the state of Idaho. While Idaho did not have any order or law mandating masks at the time, many local government bodies – including public schools – did have such orders, which were eliminated due to McGeachin’s order.