By Bill Sniffin, publisher, Cowboy State Daily
An online political publication has identified two more Wyoming Republicans as congressional candidates who were interviewed by former President Donald Trump in his search for a challenger to the re-election campaign of U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney.
State Sen. Bo Biteman, R-Ranchester, and Casper resident Catharine O’Neill were identified by Politico as joining state Rep. Charles Gray, R-Casper, and Cheyenne businessman Darin Smith in seeking Trump’s endorsement in the GOP primary for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Trump has vowed to work for Cheney’s defeat should she seek election to a fourth term as Wyoming’s lone U.S. House seat. Cheney was one of 10 House Republicans to vote for Trump’s impeachment on allegations his comments led to the invasion of the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Smith confirmed last week he met with Trump and a spokesman for another campaign said Gray was invited to New Jersey for the meeting as well.
The Politico article identified Biteman and O’Neill as also being interviewed. O’Neill’s Twitter account showed a picture of her standing with the former president.
Neither one immediately responded to a request for comment.
Cowboy State Daily reported last week that a push-poll was being conducted in Wyoming to determine Biteman’s name familiarity with voters and gauge how well he would compete against the other contenders and incumbent Cheney.
Biteman, who served in the Wyoming House of Representatives for two years before being elected to the state Senate in 2018, sponsored a bill that the Trump organization pushed for, which would see Wyoming using a runoff system in elections where no candidate received 50% or more of the votes cast. It failed to get legislative approval in time for the 2022 election cycle.
O’Neill has described herself on social media as being a private citizen living in Casper with family ties in Wyoming going back generations. She has also said she is a longtime landowner in Wyoming.
She worked for the Trump administration for three years in the State Department, and prior to that worked for his campaign in 2016. In 2020, she ran “Catholics for Trump” during his re-election bid.
She said that for the last seven months, she has been working with Wyoming ranchers to create a viable option to have cattle slaughtered and processed here in the state rather than shipping them to packing plants in other states.
O’Neill, an heir to the Rockefeller fortune, attended the GOP rally for South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem in Cheyenne last week and told one source that she intends to buy a cattle feedlot in Wheatland soon.