By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily
Another candidate has dropped out of the Republican primary for Wyoming’s lone U.S. House seat following former President Trump’s endorsement of Wyoming attorney Harriet Hageman.
State Rep. Chuck Gray (R-Casper) on Tuesday morning announced he will suspend his campaign but didn’t mention an endorsement of Hageman.
“Our first and most important goal is to unite to defeat Liz Cheney,” Gray said in a statement. “With that in mind, I will be suspending my campaign today.”
Gray becomes the second major candidate to leave the race. Cheyenne attorney Darin Smith suspended his campaign last week following Trump’s announcement.
“Liz Cheney has betrayed our values. And to counter Liz’s betrayal, our campaign has been focused on advancing Wyoming values,” he said.
Gray said he will focus his efforts on state legislative duties, including his call for a special session to fight against President Joe Biden’s “unconstitutional, illegal, and immoral vaccine mandate.”
Gray was one of several candidates who said he would drop out of the race if he did not receive the endorsement from former President Trump.
So far Smith and Gray have lived-up to that promise. State Sen. Anthony Bouchard (R-Cheyenne) said he never agreed to it. While Gillette veteran Denton Knapp said there’s a lot of time left and he would support Hageman if she’s leading in 11 months.
Hageman said she was “humbled” by Gray’s decision to drop-out of the race.
“Chuck Gray is an honorable man who has been standing for Wyoming’s Conservative values for years. We can’t take back our Congressional seat unless we are united, and I am humbled by his decision to keep fighting to protect Wyoming through his work in the Legislature,” she said.
Carbon County GOP Chair Joey Correnti, who has organized a candidate forum on Friday night in Rawlins, was complimentary of Gray’s decision.
“I’ve always remained fairly neutral when it comes to individual candidate’s campaign efforts and decisions in this race, tho it is refreshing to see some of these candidates actually honoring their word,” Correnti said.
Since her announcement, Hageman has appeared on many national TV shows while Bouchard has created somewhat of a controversy over a Facebook post in which he suggested executing Dr. Anthony Fauci.