Conservative Firebrand Bouchard Won’t Run For Reelection To Wyoming Senate

Conservative firebrand state Sen. Anthony Bouchard of Cheyenne won’t run for reelection to the Wyoming Senate, but there’s a crowd of candidates who want his seat.

Leo Wolfson

May 30, 20243 min read

State Rep. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne
State Rep. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

When Wyoming historians years from now look through news archives about today’s state Legislature, state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, will likely catch their attention a few times, for better or worse.

During his eight years in the Legislature, Bouchard has openly and sharply criticized leadership and those who oppose his legislative efforts on social media and in the press. But after two terms, Bouchard announced he won’t run for reelection, and is endorsing Cheyenne resident Darin Smith for his seat.

“I never thought of elected office as a lifetime position,” Bouchard said in a Wednesday afternoon press release. “I’m proud of winning four hotly contested races in District 6. And I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished for my district and for the state. But now it’s time for someone new.”

Bouchard is stepping aside after recently reaching a personal watermark, having passed his first bill into law during the 2024 legislative session. This bill prohibits medical practitioners from providing any transgender care to minors in Wyoming.

He also was a firm Second Amendment advocate, fought COVID-19 restrictions and blocked Medicaid expansion efforts.

Bouchard was stripped of his interim committee positions in 2023 for his behavior.

He said Smith will continue his conservative voting legacy, if elected. Bouchard believes that Wyoming is at a political crossroads and may turn into Colorado if left unchecked.

“Now, more than ever, we need legislators who will fight for our conservative principles,” Bouchard said. “As I retire from the Senate, I believe Darin Smith will be that fighter.”

Darin Smith
Darin Smith (Darin Smith For Senate District 6 via Facebook)

Who’s Smith?

Smith is an eastern Laramie County resident who has past campaign experience.

He finished fourth in the 2016 Republican U.S. House primary that was won by former congresswoman Liz Cheney and ran a short-lived campaign for the same seat in 2020. He also worked on the 2018 campaign of Republican gubernatorial candidate Foster Friess and is a past chairman of the Laramie County Republican Party. His wife Alicia Smith is a member of the Laramie County School District No.1 board.

In a Tuesday press release, Smith wasted no time stepping in where Bouchard left off, offering a similar viewpoint that there are illegitimate Republicans in the state Legislature. Although Wyoming has the most Republican-dominated legislature in the country, Smith said there’s an ongoing joke in conservative circles that Wyoming is the reddest state with the bluest legislature.

“For the last 20 years Wyoming has been in an economic purgatory when we should be the leader in of industry in the region,” Smith said. “At the same time, we have allowed liberal forces to chip away at our families and our Wyoming values. The Wyoming Legislature is packed with liberal politicians masquerading as Republicas.”

After selling a successful investment firm in 2005, Smith was an executive with conservative nonprofits like the Family Research Council and Christian Broadcast Network.

The Race

With Smith’s entry into the race, there are now six Republicans running for SD 6, by far the most crowded primary race in the state so far. These candidates are Laramie County GOP Chair Taft Love, Cheyenne resident Kim Withers, Wheatland residents Eric Johnston and Gary Bjorklund, and Pine Bluffs resident Marc Torriani.

SD 6 makes up eastern Laramie County and all of Platte County.

Bouchard was first elected in 2016, beating current state Rep. Dave Zwonitzer by five votes in the Republican primary that year.

Leo Wolfson can be reached at

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter