August 4, 2022 |
Rex Rammell will make good on a threat he made during Thursday night’s gubernatorial debate. Rammell will file a lawsuit against the Wyoming Secretary of State today or tomorrow for allowing Brent Bien’s name to appear on the primary ballot for governor.
Rammell and Bien are challenging Governor Mark Gordon in this month’s election. During last week’s debate between the three candidates, Rammell ambushed Bien saying the retired Marine is ineligible to be governor. Citing Article 4, Section 2 of the Wyoming Constitution, Rammell said Bien fails to meet the residency requirement to hold the office.
Bien, who later called Rammell’s demand a political stunt, appeared unphased. The naval aviator took aim with another section of the state Constitution, and said he had been vetted by the Secretary of State’s office.
Governor Gordon steered clear of the fray, even though as commander in chief of the state’s military he would be familiar with the issue.
Since after the U.S. Civil War, military personnel have had the ability to claim a state residence and maintain that residency regardless of where the military may send them. Bien served 28 years in the Marines. He was stationed in Bosnia/Herzegovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, but the Laramie native told Bigfoot 99 that never gave up his Wyoming residency. He returned to the Cowboy State after retiring in 2019. Bien told Bigfoot 99 Wednesday that Rammell’s claim is a baseless stunt meant to “fog things up” and confuse voters.
Joining Rammell at tomorrow’s news conference announcing the lawsuit against the secretary of State will be Taylor Haynes, an advisor to the campaign. Four years ago, the Secretary of State brought action against Haynes saying the home where he resides on his sprawling ranch is actually in Colorado, although most of the property is in Wyoming. Bien said the comparison of Haynes’ situation with his own is unwarranted.
According to a news release from the Rammell campaign, the lawsuit will claim that Ed Buchannan did not say Bien was eligible, but instead of seeking a judicial solution has backed out of the case in dereliction of his duty as Secretary of State.
Rammell’s announcement comes after the Election Day Division of the Secretary of State’s Office said Tuesday that it was determined that the campaign’s complaint seeks a legal analysis of the term “residence” which goes beyond what is contained in Wyoming statute.
The election office ruled Rammell’s case closed without further action as “the removal of a candidate from the ballot would require a court order.”
Tomorrow’s news conference to discuss the details of the lawsuit will take place in a parking lot next to the Perkins Restaurant at 1730 Dell Range Boulevard in Cheyenne.
Pictured above: (L-R) Rex Rammell, Brent Bien and Governor Mark Gordon during the Wyoming Gubernatorial Republican Primary Debate at Central Wyoming College, July 28, 2022. Image courtesy of Wyoming PBS.