By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The Wyoming Republican Party passed a resolution over the weekend supporting runoff elections, although the Wyoming Legislature killed a bill earlier this year that would have established just such a system.
The resolution the organization passed during its State Central Committee meeting in Buffalo over the weekend called for a runoff election to be held if no candidate in an election receives a majority of the votes cast.
In races with three or more candidates, it is possible for a candidate to win even though he or she might win less than 50% of the votes cast.
“Whereas, in plurality election outcomes, when more than two candidates are running for the same office, may not be representative of a simple majority of the electorate and consequently, lack of the mandate of the people,” the resolution said.
A bill that would have called for a runoff election to be held between the leading two candidates in a race if no candidate received a majority of the votes cast in the primary election died in the Legislature during the spring session.
Senate File 145 was narrowly defeated in its third reading in the Senate on a vote of 14-15.
Former President Donald Trump said in July that Wyoming should have a runoff election to get U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney out of office.
In a statement, Trump said that Wyoming voters want a clear majority winner in the Republican primary for the state’s lone U.S. House seat and the only mechanism that accomplishes this is a runoff election, “pitting the top two candidates against each other.”
“Conservative Republicans in the Wyoming State Legislature like Senator Bo Biteman and Representative Chip Nieman led this effort. Unfortunately and sadly for Wyoming voters, RINO State Legislators stood in the way, defeating the Run-Off Election bills,” Trump.
Earlier this year, Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. voiced his support for run-off elections in the state as well.
The younger Trump framed his argument in support of the bill as opposition to Cheney, one of a handful of Republicans in the U.S. House to vote for the impeachment of the former president.
“The easiest way to defeat Deplorable Liz Cheney is by having only ONE Conservative candidate run and WIN! Wyoming Patriots will no longer stand for Nancy Pelosi and her new lapdog RINO Liz Cheney!” the elder Trump said in July.
Cheney handily won both the primary and general elections in 2020. In her first bid for Congress in 2016, she won almost 40% of the votes cast in the Republican primary, but not a majority of all votes cast.