Ammon Bundy, Rancher Who Ran an Armed Occupation of Federal Land in Oregon, Running for Idaho Governor

Ammon Bundy
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"We can not afford to have state leadership that lets the federal government bully us, or walk all over us," Bundy said in a statement on his website.

The rancher who ran an armed occupation of federal land in Oregon in 2016 has announced he is running for governor of Idaho. Ammon Bundy, 45, announced the news Monday on his website.

"I'm Ammon Bundy and I'm running for Governor of the great state of Idaho," Bundy wrote. "I won't bore you with the typical platitudes from politicians about how they're strong conservatives, and how they support small business and education and all that.

"Nor will I pose in a hard hat at some random worksite talking to workers, nor will I show you pictures of me reading books to little children," he continued. "I'm running for Governor because I'm sick and tired of all of this political garbage just like you are. I'm tired of our freedoms being taken from us and I'm tired of the corruption that is rampant in our state Government."

In the very lengthy statement posted to his website, Bundy also claimed without citing evidence that President Biden is controlled by “the Deep State” and added that they are "going to try to take away our gun rights, freedom of religion, parental rights, and more."

“Because we know that the Federal Government under Joe Biden and the existing establishment will continue their onslaught against the people, and we simply can’t afford to have leadership in our state back down, and comply with federal tyranny,” he added. “Remember, it is the state’s duty and moral obligation to protect the people. Furthermore, we can’t allow that same cronyism and corruption to reign in Idaho, as it has for so many years.”

Bundy will be one of many candidates, including the state’s current governor, Brad Little, as well as the lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin, who are running in the state’s gubernatorial race in 2022.

Bundy made national headlines in 2016 after he and several others from a militia occupied a national wildlife refuge in Oregon for over three weeks. One person was killed and another was wounded as state and federal authorities arrested Bundy and several others, CBS News reported.

Bundy said he left the militia movement in 2018, according to CBS. 

Last year, Bundy made headlines again during the height of the coronavirus pandemic after he promised to defy state orders banning public gatherings to hold an Easter service. It was attended by more than 100 people in April 2020.  Bundy addressed worshipers in a crowded warehouse in the small Idaho town of Emmett. "When you believe in Christ ... you will never infringe upon your neighbor's rights," he said.

A homemade sign reading "Defy martial law" was propped against the podium.

Six months later, Bundy refused to wear a mask at his sons' football game, despite being asked several times by officials at Caldwell high school to put one on. Bundy wanted to watch his son, a linebacker for the visiting Emmett High School Huskies, against the Caldwell Cougars, but he allegedly dismissed any requests for him to put on his face covering.

Bundy was denied entrance into the stadium when he refused to follow Caldwell's coronavirus masking policy, NBC reported. He was later found, again without a mask on, watching the game from the field's parking lot, which was on campus ground but outside of the stadium. When Bundy was asked to leave he once again allegedly refused to, the report said.

At halftime, Caldwell administrators stopped the game, with Emmett up 35-0, saying a "threat to the safety of the school was made," district spokeswoman Allison Westfall wrote to parents in an email that was also provided to the Idaho Statesman.

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