Gray Says Harshman’s Disparaging Comments Come From Lack Of Accountability

in News/Legislature

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, addressed the disparaging remarks made about him from one of his fellow representatives last week.

In a statement, Gray said that Rep. Steve Harshman’s, R-Casper, comments followed Gray’s request for a recorded vote on an amendment following a debate last Thursday.

“Rep. Harshman’s wrong comments demonstrate how some members of the Legislature react when conservatives call for accountability through recorded votes,” Gray said. “It’s troubling that some members of the body view other members that way. I will continue to stand for accountability in government.”

While votes on amendments are most often cast as voice votes, lawmakers may ask that the vote on an amendment be recorded so it will be clear which legislators voted for or against the amendment.

Gray said he asked for the recorded vote on the amendment because “it’s pivotal for elected officials to be on the record about the work they do.”

Harshman did not immediately respond to Cowboy State Daily’s request for comment.

During a House debate on Thursday, the third day of the Legislature’s ongoing special session, Harshman, who was participating in the session by Zoom, was overheard using foul language directed at Gray.

“Chuck Gray, f*****,” he was heard saying. “Little f*******.”

Harshman, the former Speaker of the House, did not realize his audio was on when he made the comments.

Harshman was reprimanded on Friday by his successor, House Speaker Rep. Eric Barlow, R-Gillette, who identified three breaches of conduct Harshman committed on Thursday: Addressing the body without permission from the chair, using a name of another member and inappropriate language.

Harshman’s Zoom privileges were also revoked for the duration of the special session, called to chart Wyoming’s response to a proposed federal coronavirus vaccine mandate.

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