Park County Republican Party Condemns Legislature For Not Investigating Zwonitzer

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Members of the Park County Republican Party earlier this month passed a resolution condemning the Wyoming Legislature for refusing to investigate a Cheyenne representative accused of living outside of his district.

Party members, meeting for their convention on March 12, also called on legislative leaders to resign from their positions because of what the resolution called the Legislature’s disregard of its own rules and state law.

The resolution, was one of eight approved during the Park County GOP convention, did not specify exactly what the Legislature did to earn the party’s admonition.

Bob Ferguson, the party’s vice chair, said the resolution stems from the Legislature’s refusal to investigate allegations that Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, R-Cheyenne, was living outside of the district he was elected to represent.

“We thought that was absolutely ridiculous that they refused to investigate,” Ferguson told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday. “It’s one thing if they investigate, take in all the evidence and decided there was no wrongdoing. But it’s another to refuse to investigate when there are maps and evidence.”

In February, the Wyoming House of Representatives rejected a proposal to form a special committee to investigate the allegations against Zwonitzer.

The resolution also called on House Speaker Eric Barlow, R-Gillette, and Senate President Dan Dockstader, R-Afton, to resign from their positions. Following the legislative session that ended earlier this month, Barlow announced his intent to leave the house, but indicated he would still be pursuing a political career.

The resolution received much support from party members, with Ferguson being unable to recall much, if any, opposition to it.

However, this was not the only issue the party had with the Legislature.

Ferguson said that during the special session last October that focused on COVID vaccine mandates, Barlow and Dockstader did everything they could to “thwart” the efforts of the legislators who were fighting these directives.

“It’s really our problem with the Legislature as a whole, not addressing what the citizens of Wyoming want them to address,” Ferguson said.

He added that now the resolution will be forwarded to the Wyoming Republican Party, which will likely take up discussion on it at the state party convention in Sheridan in May.

Ferguson believes that more Wyoming Republican parties will follow suit and condemn their legislature for its actions, or lack thereof.

Dockstader declined to comment for this article. Barlow did not return a request for comment.

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