Reid Rasner Tells Hageman To Cease And Desist Her Demand That He Cease And Desist

Long shot U.S. Senate candidate Reid Rasner has responded to Harriet Hageman’s demand he cease and desist using her image on social media by telling her to cease and desist her demands. The Hageman campaign said he's not a serious candidate.

Leo Wolfson

June 06, 20245 min read

Reid Razner, left, and U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyoming.
Reid Razner, left, and U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyoming. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Reid Rasner may be a huge underdog to unseat longtime incumbent Sen. John Barrasso, but he isn’t backing down.

Last week, a Colorado attorney working on behalf of Rasner sent a cease-and-desist letter to U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman’s campaign, demanding she stop making efforts to restrict his free speech.

The move is a response to her campaign hitting him with a cease-and-desist letter for posting photos of himself with Hageman on his campaign social media.

“The campaign will combat any future threats against Mr. Rasner’s freedoms with the appropriate legal response,” Rasner’s letter sent on May 28 reads.

Rasner faces off with Barrasso in the Republican primary on Aug. 20. Also competing in the primary race is Laramie resident John Holtz.

The Hageman campaign sent its letter to Rasner in early May, demanding he stop making social media posts it believes were meant to lead people into believing she supports and endorses his campaign. Shortly after, Hageman officially endorsed Barrasso’s campaign.

Rasner and his attorney claimed they never received Hageman’s cease-and-desist letter and didn’t know about it until contacted by Cowboy State Daily. Even if this is true, emails shared with Cowboy State Daily show that the Hageman team also reached out to Rasner in February about taking down posts.

Hageman campaign advisor Tim Murtaugh had a short and succinct response to Rasner’s cease and desist letter Thursday.

“If he were a serious candidate, he would cease and desist with all the nonsense, but everyone can see how that’s going,” Murtaugh said.

The Response

Rasner’s attorney, Kammie Cuneo, argues that Hageman’s cease-and-desist letter failed to set any legal basis to support its demands. Instead, she said the letter was merely an attempt to silence Rasner’s right to free speech. Cuneo threatened future legal action against Hageman if this continues.

“Because your cease and desist is baseless, Mr. Rasner’s campaign demands that you cease and desist any further attempts to restrict his freedom of speech,” Cuneo writes. “The campaign will combat any future threats against Mr. Rasner’s freedoms with the appropriate legal response.”

Rasner never explicitly said Hageman is endorsing or supporting his campaign, but posted multiple photos on Facebook he had taken with her and former state legislator and Saratoga Mayor Teense Willford at an event in April. The photo is still visible on Rasner’s Facebook page despite Hageman’s requests.

He also made various posts with messages such as,“Hang on Harriet, I am on my way! The Wyoming Congressional Delegation 2024 is getting STRONGER,” and, “The Rasner/Hageman duo will crush the deep state.” Another superimposed the photo the pair took together behind a “RASNER 2024” campaign logo.

Cuneo argues that none of these posts equate to claiming an endorsement, and even if Hageman’s reputation was damaged by them, it’s still protected free speech.

Not only did posts like these irritate Hageman, but it also caught the attention of leading Republicans in the state like state Rep. John Bear, R-Gillette, chairman of the Wyoming Freedom Caucus, and Wyoming GOP National Committeeman Corey Steinmetz, who asked that Rasner take down similar photos he took with them.

Hageman And Free Speech

Hageman has actually made protecting free speech one of her top objectives as a congresswoman, frequently expressing her belief that the federal government has been making efforts to silence conservative thought under President Joe Biden’s administration.

Cuneo said Hageman’s cease-and-desist letter runs contrary to these principles.

Rasner and Hageman are fairly similar politically, as both strongly support former President Donald Trump. Trump officially endorsed Barrasso’s campaign last week and also endorsed his campaign for Senate whip in March.

Cuneo said Rasner wants to collaborate “with like-minded conservatives,” which is why he’s made the posts he has. A Hageman endorsement of Rasner’s campaign would have been extremely beneficial to the political newcomer due to Hageman’s popularity in Wyoming.

She beat former congresswoman Liz Cheney by 38 percentage points in the 2022 Republican primary and also coasted to victory in the general election. There’s been no sign her popularity in Wyoming has waned since.

Who’s Rasner?

Rasner is a Casper resident and investment banker. He's a relative newcomer to Wyoming politics but did run unsuccessfully for the Casper City Council in the early 2000s and the Las Vegas City Council in 2017, finishing seventh.

He hasn’t let the cease-and-desist fiasco get him down, continuing to host town halls throughout the state in recent weeks.

Rasner recently announced he’s been endorsed by the mayors of Shoshoni and Cokeville, city councilmen in Shoshoni and Mills, and Park County GOP Committeeman Troy Bray.

Bray gained statewide notoriety in 2021 after he sent a violent and profanity-laden letter to a female state senator and suggested that she should kill herself for voting against a bill that would have banned the state from requiring its employees to get COVID-19 vaccines.

Leo Wolfson can be reached at

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter