Past precedence hasn’t mattered much to U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman over the last few days. On Monday, she lashed out at state Rep. Landon Brown, R-Cheyenne, the second state legislator she had called out in the last three days.
“Oh Landon,” Hageman tweeted. “Your ‘lane’ should be what your constituents want, but thanks for again being a living argument for allowing only Republicans to vote in Republican primaries.”
Hageman made her comment in response to a comment Brown made earlier in the day, where he said Hageman should stay in her lane, run for state office, or “Otherwise, bugoff!” His tweet had received 184,000 views as of Monday evening.
Brown made this comment in response to Hageman weighing in over the weekend on Republican Speaker of the House Rep. Albert Sommers’ actions on three different bills. This topic has drawn national attention with comments from a Texas congressman and coverage on Fox News.
Sommers received criticism from Hageman and a few other notable Republicans around the country for actions he has taken on three different bills that makes it unlikely they will be heard for debate.
Brown, a fourth-term legislator, told Cowboy State Daily he has no doubts about his identity as a Republican.
“I’m as Republican as I need to be to feel comfortable in my own skin,” he said. “I’m disappointed that the newly minted Rep has done something that no other federal delegation has done since I’ve been in office. She’s entitled to her beliefs, and I respect those, but I do believe if she wants to move the Legislature in a particular way, she should run for the correct office.”
It’s exceptionally rare for members of Wyoming’s federal delegation to publicly weigh on matters at the State Legislature, and even more rare for them to openly criticize a member of the State Legislature.
It’s just as rare for them to criticize another member of their delegation, as neither U.S. Sens. John Barrasso or Cynthia Lummis publicly spoke out against former congresswoman Liz Cheney when she criticized former President Donald Trump. Hageman beat Cheney by about 38% of the vote in the 2022 Republican primary.
Former Republican Wisconsin governor and short time 2016 presidential candidate Scott Walker also weighed in on Brown’s tweet on Monday.
“Last I checked, @harriethageman lives in Wyoming, not Washington, D.C.,” Walker tweeted at Brown. “She represents the entire State of Wyoming- which includes children and families who deserve a better life.”
Root Of The Dispute
In a Sunday op-ed, Sommers defended his actions.
“I have consistently used the following metric to assess legislation: does it solve a Wyoming problem with a Wyoming solution?” he said. “Some bills that come to the Legislature do not come from Wyoming but instead from another state, or they are templates from a national organization. Bills not crafted in Wyoming often take a one-size-fits-all approach that demands the Wyoming Legislature’s due diligence to ensure a bill solves a problem and does not create a new one.”
The three bills in question establish a publicly-funded scholarship to send some students to private schools, ban teaching gender identity and sexual orientation to children in the third grade and younger, and ban doctors from performing transgender surgeries on children.
Brown offered a response to Walker, saying he would be amenable to debating two of these three bills.
“Scott, it’s nice to hear from you,” he said. “We have amazing lives in Wyoming. We have a state constitution which needs to be addressed before we have discussions of having the state give money for private education.”
Many of the nearly 300 commenters on Brown’s post also accused him of having an unethical relationship with the Wyoming Education Association for receiving $200 from the lobbying group during his 2022 campaign.
“I love when people think I’m bought and paid for by donations from anyone,” he said in his last tweet of the day. “My campaign finance report shows that I raised over $16k from constituents and if you think I made a vote based on a $200 donation, you’re clearly mistaken.”