By Bill Sniffin, Cowboy State Daily
Out of a list of more than 50 speakers, U. S. Congressional candidate Harriet Hageman drew the loudest ovations during a rally featuring the most conservative members of the Wyoming Republican Party.
State Chairman Frank Eathorne, who is frequently criticized as being divisive rather than embracing a bigger tent of Republican candidates said, attendees of the rally are the “grassroots” of the Party.
“We have to remember, these are the people we work for,” he said.
The rally was organized by Jeff Martin, a conservative Lander businessman, who announced during his opening speech that he will be challenging state Rep. Lloyd Larsen, Lander’s Republican incumbent in the state House of Representatives.
Martin had invited a long list of state and local candidates, who all reflected what might be called the most conservative members of the state GOP.
However, conservative Robyn Bellinskey, candidate in the same Republican Primary election for the U.S. House in which big-name contenders Harriet Hageman and U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney are vying, told Cowboy State Daily on Friday that she had not been invited to the event
Hageman was the featured speaker of the event.
The Hageman-Cheney race is being viewed all across the country as one of the most widely-watched races. Cheney this year drew the ire of former president Donald Trump, whom she voted to impeach in January. She also served as vice-chair of the Congressional committee seeking to implicate Trump as a major actor in a Jan. 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol.
Trump endorsed Hageman for the Aug. 16 Republican primary election.
Early in the nine-hour rally it seemed candidates outnumbered spectators, but soon the crowd picked up. More than 300 people arrived to hear Hageman in the cavernous Lander Community Center.
Hageman, gave her “We’re Fed Up” talk during her 7 p.m. time slot. This was similar to the talk she gave during a rally May 28 in Casper when Trump showed up to promote her candidacy. Some 10,000 people attended that event.
On this night, Hageman recited all the things she was displeased with including open borders, inflation, the retreat in Afghanistan, lax police protection, high gas prices, plus a long list of actions by President Joe Biden. She’s also fed up with Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Hageman said.
“And we are fed up with Liz Cheney,” she said, which brought the crowd to its feet.
Brian Schroeder, Wyoming’s appointed Superintendent of Public Instruction, blasted President Joe Biden’s federal government for its demands that schools change how they treat gender identification.
Earlier news reports indicated the possibility that the federal government might withhold $40 million in annual school lunch funds to Wyoming schools if the state did not alter how it identifies restroom use and treats students with gender issues.
The highly-emotional Schroeder railed against the feds and his talk was well-received. His animated remarks generated loud applause and several standing ovations.
The long list of speakers included state candidates like incumbent State Treasurer Curt Meier, Schroeder, and Hageman. Chuck Gray, one of two candidates for Secretary of State, was at the event campaigning.
Groups like Right-to-Life were represented with President Marti Halverson going through all the ramifications of the recently overturned Roe vs Wade abortion decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. She laughed about when a reporter asked if Wyoming Right To Life was going to shut down now “that they won.” Halverson said her group still has an awful lot of work to do, especially working to remove exemptions for rape and incest in Wyoming’s imminent ban on abortion.
During the pledge of allegiance, the crowd expanded the sentence at the end “and justice for all, both the born and unborn.”