By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
One of the candidates in the race for Wyoming’s lone U.S. House of Representatives has changed her party affiliation.
Riverton resident Marissa Selvig over the weekend announced her intention to switch her affiliation from the Wyoming Republican Party to the Wyoming Constitution Party, pointing as a reason to turmoil within the party.
“One of the main reasons I decided to change is because of what I see inside of the Republican Party, which is big money, finger pointing and negative politics,” Selvig told Cowboy State Daily on Monday. “When I’m going around the state speaking with people, I’m talking about bringing virtue back to governance and looking at how we can reform our government to get back to its constitutional state.”
The Constitution Party was formed in 1992 as the U.S. Taxpayers’ Party, but changed its name in 1999. It was founded by conservative activist Howard Phillips, who was the party’s presidential nominee in three elections.
The party’s platform is based on interpretations of the U.S. Constitution and shaped by principles set forth in the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Bible.
There are two officially organized Constitution parties in the state, in Platte and Uinta counties, but the party has a presence in a handful of other counties, including Laramie and Natrona. The Wyoming Constitution Party was organized and accepted by the national party in 2010.
The last Constitution Party member to run for statewide office was Jeff Haggitt, who collected 7,905 voters in his race for the U.S. House in 2020. He finished fourth in a four-person field. Cheney won more than 185,000 votes in her 2020 bid for re-election.
Selvig said the Constitution Party best aligned with her views and that its focus of integrity, liberty and prosperity appealed to her.
While campaigning, Selvig said she has encountered many people in Wyoming over the last year who want someone like her in office, “a regular gal.”
“I am what people are looking for,” Selvig said. “I’m a self-employed musician. I’m a stay-at-home mom. I’m active in my community. They want someone who isn’t the same old kind of politician and I am not that. I find that I don’t often fit into people’s little political boxes.”
Selvig was actually an unaffiliated voter for many years, but registered with the Republican Party in 2018 in order to vote in the state’s primary election.
Prior to her run for Congress, she served as the mayor of Pavillion, Wyoming, which is located in Fremont County and has a population of about 230, from April of 2019 to April of 2020.
Now that Selvig has switched her party affiliation, the Republican race for Wyoming’s U.S. House seat is slightly less crowded. The candidates now include incumbent U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, Cheyenne attorney Harriet Hageman, state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, and Gillette resident Denton Knapp.
Cheyenne attorney Darin Smith and state Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, previously were candidates in the race, but have since dropped out.