Wyoming GOP Lawmaker Accused Of Disregarding God Censured By Party

Converse County Republican state Rep. Forrest Chadwick has been censured by his party, but says censures don’t hold much meaning anymore because the party is “handing them out like candy.”

Leo Wolfson

November 15, 20234 min read

State Rep. Forrest Chadwick, R-Evansville.
State Rep. Forrest Chadwick, R-Evansville. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Add another Wyoming lawmaker to a growing list of legislators who have been censured by state and county Republican parties.

After a short delay, the Converse County GOP has voted 20-12 to censure state Rep. Forrest Chadwick R-Evansville, for an overall voting record that supporters of the censure say doesn’t reflect enough of the party’s platform. The motion to censure Chadwick says that he disregarded the Republican platform and also that he disregarded “the oath that he made to God.”

GOP censures are happening so often of late that “they have absolutely no meaning,” Chadwick said. "If they ever did, what meaning they had is absolutely gone. They’re handing them out like candy.”

It appeared Chadwick had escaped a formal censure when he addressed the Converse County Republican Party in October and explained why he made the votes that he did. Although he expressed confidence to Cowboy State Daily after the meeting that he wouldn’t be censured, the county party felt differently when it convened again for its November meeting last week.

“Some things just can’t be fixed,” Chadwick said.

Converse County GOP Vice Chair Jim Creaser said Chadwick voted against the party platform and the Constitution on numerous occasions, which prompted the censure resolution.

“He has a horrendous voting record,” Creaser said. “He doesn’t represent anything Republicans should be voting for.”

Chadwick told Cowboy State Daily he stands by his votes and doesn’t plan to change his approach to legislating despite the censure.

“I made no qualms about that the night I spoke to everybody,” Chadwick said. “I have absolutely no qualms of how I voted.”

Chadwick wouldn’t say what message he felt the Converse County GOP was trying to send by censuring him.

The Votes

Creaser listed a number of bills that he and most of the county party took issue with regarding Chadwick’s voting record.

The resolution also bases a significant portion of its reasoning based on a few conservative voting websites' portrayal that Chadwick’s voting record doesn’t align with the Republican Party platform.

During the 2023 session, Chadwick voted against House Bill 103, known as the “crossover voting bill,” legislation that restricts voters from changing their party affiliations after the candidate filing period has begun.

He also voted against a bill that would have prohibited wind farms owned by independent power producers from using eminent domain to build transmission lines through private property to connect to the power grid. 

On health care, Chadwick voted for a bill to expand Medicaid coverage in Wyoming and against a bill rejecting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization mandates in Wyoming.

He also voted to increase legislator pay and travel allowances, which Creaser saw as an example of Chadwick giving himself a raise.

Creaser also stressed that Chadwick violated his oath to defend the Constitution and oath to God, but not that he defied God by voting against the Republican Party platform. The resolution states that “for his blatant disregard to the oath that he made to God ... and his failure to honor the Wyoming Republican Party Platform.”

“He violated the platform,” Creaser said. “Our resolution never equated that to violating God.”

What It Means?

From a practical perspective, a censure means nothing, which is the weight Chadwick said he gives the measure.

There has been an increasing trend in recent years of the Wyoming state and county Republican Parties to censure or otherwise formally call out elected officials.

Chadwick said they’re happening so frequently they’ve lost meaning. But Creaser said it’s important for members of the party to hold their representatives accountable.

“As a central committee member,” Creaser said he feels it’s his, and “a duty of all Americans to hold elected servants accountable. If that’s not our job, we’re a social club.”

Creaser said it’s yet to be decided whether the Converse County party will bring a Chadwick censure resolution for consideration by the state party.

Leo Wolfson can be reached at leo@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter