Wyoming’s Republican Governor Won’t Attend State GOP Convention

Citing prior commitments, Gov. Mark Gordon’s office told Cowboy State Daily that Gordon, Wyoming’s Republican governor, won’t attend the state GOP convention this weekend in Cheyenne.

Leo Wolfson

April 18, 20243 min read

Gov. Mark Gordon addresses the Wyoming Legislature at the start of the 2024 session.
Gov. Mark Gordon addresses the Wyoming Legislature at the start of the 2024 session. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

CHEYENNE — Although the Wyoming Republican Party’s state convention will be held in the capital city this weekend, Wyoming’s Republican governor won’t attend.

A spokesperson for Gov. Mark Gordon confirmed to Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday that the governor won’t attend the four-day convention that began Thursday morning at Little America Resort.

Michael Pearlman said Gordon had been invited to the party’s Friday night banquet but had a previous commitment for an event in Campbell County. He said the governor had not anticipated being invited to the state GOP events Saturday, and has a prior commitment for that day as well.

“He recognizes it is an important event for Wyoming Republicans in an election year, and the governor wishes the state party a successful and productive convention where a united GOP advances conservative and constitutionally based principles,” said Pearlman, spokesperson for the governor.

Not Buying It

Gordon said he has other scheduling conflicts for those days, but state party leadership isn’t buying it.

Wyoming GOP Chair Frank Eathorne said Gordon’s using that as an excuse to avoid the event.

“Nope, he knew about convention, everybody knew about convention,” Eathorne told Cowboy State Daily.

All of Wyoming’s congressional delegation will be attending the convention, which has been publicized for the last few months.

At the last convention in 2022, Gordon attended nearly a full day of activities and gave a speech at the party’s Friday night dinner.

U.S. Sens. John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis, along with Rep. Harriet Hageman, will host a dinner at the convention Friday night.

Sign Of The Times

Gordon’s relationship with the party has become somewhat strained in the past year.

Last fall, the party issued a vote of no confidence against Gordon for comments he made at Harvard University where the governor said he wants Wyoming to reduce its carbon output to fight climate change.

Most of the Wyoming GOP supports the Wyoming Freedom Caucus, a group of farther right state House legislators that have loudly criticized Gordon, particularly over vetoes he made to certain bills during the recent legislative session.

One of these lawmakers is Rep. Bill Allemand, R-Midwest, who was at the convention Thursday. When asked his thoughts about the governor’s absence, he acknowledged that prior engagements can be a legitimate excuse, but also questioned whether Gordon is a true Wyoming Republican.

This sentiment came to a head when the Park County Republican Party passed a censure against Gordon for his vetoes. The censure resolution is expected to be brought up during the convention this weekend as a proposal for the state party to adopt, which could be finalized Saturday.

A censure is considered a formal condemnation against someone but holds no legal binding.

The Wyoming GOP made national headlines in 2021 when it censured former congresswoman Liz Cheney.

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

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter