Gov. Mark Gordon and U.S. Sen. John Barrasso spoke during the congressional delegation dinner at the State GOP Convention on Friday night, largely drawing support from the audience, but also some noticeable jeers.
One of those detractors was Gillian Sears of Newcastle, who yelled out, “We’re mad at you” when Barrasso discussed the inflation he blames on President Joe Biden’s policies. Her husband Chad Sears said he feels similarly and was also disappointed with all the members of Wyoming’s congressional delegation.
“They don’t seem to be mounting any kind of response,” Chad Sears said, explaining he would like to see delegates push more bills opposing the Democrat policies and Biden.
“Build The Wall”
Barrasso said in an interview after his speech that he plans to vote against any bill for COVID funding until the Biden administration continues the building of the border wall at the southern border started by former President Donald Trump.
Chad Sears said he harbors the most discontent with Gordon, adding that he won’t vote for the governor in the fall election under any circumstance.
Gordon and Barrasso addressed a variety of different topics, nearly all based around their opposition to Biden’s policies and allegiance to former President Donald Trump. Gordon said the current administration has dropped the ball not only on the Mexico border but also the northern border with Canada.
“It’s amazing to me to watch what has happened when you see how quickly they disassembled all the great work the Trump administration did,” he said.
But Barrasso’s statements of allegiance only brought a handful of claps from the audience. By the time the senator mentioned making Biden a one-term president, Rep. Dan Laursen (R-Powell) rolled his eyes.
“Under Joe Biden, (U.S. Rep.) Nancy Pelosi and (U.S.) Sen. Chuck Schumer, we are less safe and we are less free,” Barrasso said.
Sears said Gordon “ceded all control to unelected bureaucrats” when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, a move he said hurt businesses. One of those bureaucrats, he mentioned, was State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist, who was not elected but appointed by Gordon.
Now, Sears sees the governor doing an about face and claiming to be the state’s “savior,” because of his Covid response.
“He didn’t take a stand,” Sears said.
During an interview with Cowboy State Daily earlier in the day, Gordon said it’s easy to criticize the COVID restrictions in hindsight, but said he has no regrets about his actions overall.
The Park County Republican Party was one of the most vocal against Barrasso, with Cody resident Jona Vanata yelling out, “What are you going to do about it?” when Barrasso mentioned the crime rate in major U.S. cities.
Heidi Reed, a nurse from Albany County, said she still supports Barrasso and hissed when the senator brought up vaccine mandates during his speech.
“I support the patient’s bill of rights,” she said.
Barrasso still received a standing ovation from the audience and will have more time than Gordon to shore up support from voters as he has two more years in his term.
Gordon, who also won applause from the crowd, is running for re-election this year and will face at least one opponent in the Republican primary this August in Brent Bien, a veteran from Sheridan who attended the dinner and convention events earlier in the day. Constitution Party candidate Rex Rammell was also present at the convention.
U.S. congressional candidate Harriet Hageman was at the dinner but did not speak to the audience. Her opponent Liz Cheney announced on Thursday night she is not attending the convention due to Wyoming GOP Chairman Frank Eathorne’s purported membership in the far-right, anti-government group “Oath Keepers.”