By Leo Wolfson, political reporter
Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Brian Schroeder’s candidacy for Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction, Schroeder’s campaign confirmed Wednesday.
Cody resident Carol Armstrong, who is working for Schroeder’s campaign, confirmed the news on Wednesday afternoon.
“Brian just called an hour ago and told me, it’s true,” she said. “He told me himself with his own lips.”
Schroeder is the second Wyoming candidate Trump has endorsed in this year’s Republican primary. Last September the former president gave U.S. House candidate Harriet Hageman his support in her campaign against U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney.
The Superintendent of of Public Instruction is in charge of Wyoming’s K-12 public schools. According to Ballotpedia, Schroeder is the first school’s supervisor Trump has endorsed nationwide during the 2022 midterm elections.
Many in Wyoming Republican Party leadership have supported Schroeder and he also earned the endorsement of Gun Owners of America and the Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Schroeder is a staunch conservative who opposes the teaching of critical race theory in schools and said he wants to ban educators from being able to discuss some sexual and gender-related subjects with young kids.
Running against Schroeder in the Aug. 16 Republican primary is Megan Degenfelder, Jennifer Zerba and Robert White III. On Monday night, Sheridan Republican Thomas Kelly announced he was dropping out of the race and immediately endorsed Schroeder.
The winner of the Republican primary will take on Democrat Sergio Maldonado Sr.
Schroeder was appointed in January by Gov. Mark Gordon following the unexpected resignation of former Superintendent Jillian Balow, who left the position to serve as Virginia’s head of education. Schroeder had been one of three finalists chosen by the Wyoming GOP for the job.
Schroeder announced within weeks of his appointment that he would seek election to the four-year office.
In Wyoming, the school’s superintendent is just one of five elected heads in the state’s executive branch, along with governor, treasurer, auditor and secretary of state.
Schroeder’s brief tenure as the state’s top education official has been defined by his aggressive relationship toward the federal government. He announced on June 22 that he believes Wyoming has enough money to withdraw from $40 million annually in federal school meals dollars that could soon be linked to transgender policies.
“We need to move on this or we will forever be under the feds’ thumb, beholden to a controlling political mindset that wants to own every aspect of our lives, including our belief system,” Schroeder said at the time.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture in early May announced it would base school meals funding on whether schools and state agencies updated their nondiscrimination statements to include the terms “gender identity” and “sexual orientation.”
In a lawsuit filed last week, 22 states suing USDA claimed that the mandate, which is still in its non-binding guidance phase, would open schools up to cross-sex bathroom and athletics policies.