By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A Park County Republican Party official is refusing to resign in the wake of criticism he received for sending a violent and obscene email to a state senator despite calls from Wyoming legislative leadership for him to step down.
Park County Republican Precinct Committeeman Troy Bray said in a social media post he would not step down because of the missive he sent state Sen. Tara Nethercott, R-Cheyenne, criticizing her for how she handled a bill that would have banned the state from requiring its employees to get the corronvirus vaccine.
“If I were as despicable a person as you, I would kill myself to rid the world of myself,” said the email, a copy of which was obtained by the Casper Star-Tribune. “You sicken me. Thank you for ensuring that the people of Wyoming are subjected to tyranny once again. F— YOU C—.”
Bray said he apologized to Nethercott for the language he used in the email but was staying put with his position in the Park County Republican Party.
“I have resigned as Secretary of the Park County Republican Men’s Club after being asked to by the executive committee, but I will not resign as precinct committeeman,” he said on Facebook. “I have also received a bit of pressure from the leftists/ RINO class of scum, including a gentleman calling my employer demanding that I be fired.”
Bray said his employer would not cave to pressure, which he appreciated.
In the post, he again apologized to Nethercott for the language he used, calling it “inappropriate”.
“The cowardice and pettiness being shown by you and your supporters proves every other word of my e-mail. I will not be bullied, nor will I allow bullies to win. Have a wonderful day,” Bray said.
In her response to Bray’s initial email, Nethercott did not mention either Bray’s suggestion that she commit suicide or the obscenity it contained. Instead, she thanked the precinct committeeman for reaching out to her to share his opinions.
Bray did not respond to Cowboy State Daily’s request for comment.
He did, however, receive support from at least three members of the Wyoming State Legislature.
Sen. Troy McKeown (R-Campbell County) and Rep. Dan Laursen (R-Powell) both “liked” Bray’s Facebook post. McKeown also commented, “Troy, we can’t quit.” His comment was subsequently “liked” by colleague Rep. Robert Wharff (R-Evanston).
State Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, who has battled Nethercott in the past, spoke up in the comment section as well.
Bouchard said Bray would not get an apology from Nethercott for being “an absolute tyrant.”
“She either really believes that government isn’t out of control -or- she’s part of the progressive movement,” Bouchard wrote. “I personally pick the latter. Remember she was part of the cabal that stripped the bill to protect the second amendment while Biden is in power. We need fewer lawyers, they just make horrible representatives of freedom. I’m tired of being told to be nice to Liars and Tyrants.”
Neither Bouchard nor Laursen responded to Cowboy State Daily’s request for comment.
Earlier Thursday, Park County Republican Party chairman Martin Kimmet said there was no way to remove Bray from his position because he is an elected official.
“Despite calls for the precinct committee person’s resignation/removal there are no Wyoming state statutes providing for the removal of an elected person,” Kimmet wrote. “We welcome efforts by the Wyoming Legislature to provide a statutory and constitutional process to remove an elected person from their position.”
Former legislator and chair of the Wyoming Republican Party Diemer True on Wednesday called the email “disgusting” but representative of the current state of affairs within the Party.
“The way Republican politics should work in Wyoming is people have every right to express an opinion and they can express it with great eagerness and passion and then we shake hands and go have lunch together. But that’s not the way it is now,” he said.
“That email is sort of representative of what the [current Wyoming] Republican leadership is doing,” True said.
In Wednesday’s statement, Kimmet specified the party does not support the language used by Bray.
“The Park County Republican Party does not condone the language used in a recent email from one of our precinct committeepersons to a Wyoming state senator,” the statement said. “Furthermore, that email is not reflective of the opinion of the Park County Republican Party.”
Kimmet said after he learned of the email, he sent a letter to and called Nethercott to apologize.
The Park County Republican Party’s executive committee has met to discuss the issue and will take up the matter again at a regular meting of the central committee, he said.
“We believe in constructive dialog with our elected persons,” he wrote. “However, we believe such dialog should be respectful.”
State Senate President Dan Dockstader, R-Afton, and House Speaker Rep. Eric Barlow, R-Gillette, issued a joint statement Tuesday calling for Bray’s resignation.
The two said they would also support efforts to develop “appropriate statutory means” to remove elected officials for such behavior.