Ammon Bundy joins governor’s race

Pledging to “keep Idaho Idaho,” right-wing activist Ammon Bundy made it official Saturday, saying he will seek the Republican nomination for governor.

Bundy spelled out his agenda during a campaign announcement at Meridian’s Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park. Bundy pledged to eliminate property taxes and personal income taxes, bring all federal lands under state control, and ban all abortions, according to Clark Corbin of the Idaho Capital Sun, who has a full report on the announcement.

Bundy, of Emmett, rose to national prominence in 2016, when he helped lead a six-week standoff at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon. He was later acquitted.

However, Bundy is currently banned from the Idaho Statehouse, after he was twice arrested at the Capitol during a special legislative session in August. The Caldwell School District banned Bundy from school grounds in October, following an anti-mask protest at a high school football game.

While Bundy plans to run on the GOP ticket, state party chairman Tom Luna issued a statement two weeks ago disavowing Bundy. “We do not support his antics or his chaotic political theater,” Luna said at the time.

Candidates cannot formally file for office until 2022. But Bundy is among eight Republicans who have filed initial paperwork, joining incumbent Gov. Brad Little; Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachinEd Humphreys, a regional GOP chair from Eagle; Jeff Cotton of Boise; Lisa Marie of Boise; Cody Usabel of Meridian; and Chris Hammond of Lewiston.

One Democrat has filed paperwork: Melissa Robinson of Nampa.

Two unaffiliated candidates have also filed paperwork: John Dionne of Boise and Robert Dempsay of Paul.

About Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on KIVI 6 On Your Side; "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television; and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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